If I Have a Defense, Can Anyone Help Me?

A lawyer can assist in filing an answer or you can file your own answer. You can also contact LSND at 1-800- 634-5263 for advice and possible representation.

What Do I Do If I’m Served With A Summons and Complaint?

• If you have been served with a summons and a complaint, read the complaint carefully.
• If you have any defense to the complaint, you must put in a response, called an answer.
• A defense would be that you disagree with the amount of the debt or that you do not owe the debt. Not being able to pay the debt is not a defense.
• You must serve a copy of the answer on the plaintiff within 21 days from the day you were served with the papers to avoid having a default judgment entered against you.
• If you don’t file the answer within the 21 day period, a judgment may be entered against you.

What Is A Writ of Execution Or Levy?

A Levy or Writ is an order giving the sheriff the power to take or “levy” on your property to satisfy the judgment.

• The proceeds of the sale are initially used to pay for the costs of the sale.
• The remaining amount is applied to the debt.
• Any additional funds are paid to you.

What Happens Once A Judgment Is Entered?

Once the judgment is entered, the creditor may use the legal process to collect on the judgment at any time for 10 years.

After the 10 year period, the creditor may renew the judgment for an additional 10 years for a maximum of 20 years.

Generally, a creditor will attempt to collect the judgment in the following ways:

• Garnish your wages
• Garnish property held by a third person, for example: bank account
• Levy against your property.

If you receive a Notice of Intent to Levy, Writ of Execution, or Execution of Judgment, you need to immediately file a “Claim for Exemptions” with the law enforcement office serving the Execution or Levy to prevent the law enforcement official from taking statutorily exempt property.

What Is A Claim For Exemptions?

A legal paper which protects all or some of your property from being taken by a creditor to satisfy a debt.

Who Can I Talk to About A Claim For Exemptions?

For more information on Claim for Exemptions, contact LSND at 1-800-634-5263 or see the Claim for Exemptions form here.

Who Do I Contact With Additional Questions?

Seniors 60 and over Call:
1-866-621-9886

Others Call:
1-800-634-5263

Legal Services of North Dakota
Bismarck Law Office
418 E Broadway #25
Bismarck, ND 58501

You may apply for legal services by completing our online website application.