Debt Claims

Debt Claim Cases

Debt Claim cases are lawsuits brought to recover a debt by an assignee of a claim, debt collector or collection agency, a financial institution, or a person engaged in the business of lending money at interest.  The claim can be for no more than $20,000.

How do you file a Debt Claim case?
A person, or that person’s attorney, may file a Plaintiff’s Petition for Debt Claim Case, along with a money order for the appropriate filing fees.

What happens after filing a claim?
Once the Defendant has been properly served (notice of suit), they must provide a written answer to the court by the 14th day after the date of service (see Defendant’s Original Answer).  Once the defendant answers, a court date will be set, and both parties will be notified via mail of that date and time.

NOTE:  If you move or have a change of address or phone number, you must notify the court of that change.  Failure to do so may result in you not receiving notification of the court date and the case being dismissed.

Other Debt Claim Questions

How can I request a Motion for Continuance?
The motion must be submitted to the court at least 14 days prior to trial and must be done in writing. If the court does not receive the motion within the required deadline, the motion for continuance will be denied.

What about the Venue?
Generally, an action for a debt claim must be brought in the county and precinct in which the defendant resides.

Who may appeal and how is it done?
A dissatisfied party may appeal the final judgment of the Justice Court to the County Court as long as the amount in controversy, exclusive of costs, is more than $20.  That party must notify the court within 21 days from the judgment date, in writing, and submit an Appeal Bond in an amount set by the court which is required to perfect the appeal.