Contact Us for a Free Consultation 414.377.0515


How to Defend a Collection Suit Without a Lawyer in Wisconsin: A Guide

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | Feb 26, 2024

Facing a collection suit can be a daunting experience, especially when you're unsure of your rights and options. In Wisconsin, like in many states, individuals are sometimes pursued by creditors or debt collectors through legal action. However, navigating this process without legal representation might seem overwhelming. But fear not, as there are steps you can take to defend yourself effectively. In this guide, we'll explore how to defend a collection suit in Wisconsin without a lawyer.

  1. Understand Your Rights: The first step in defending against a collection suit is to understand your rights as a debtor. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Wisconsin Consumer Act provide protections against abusive and unfair debt collection practices. Familiarize yourself with these laws to ensure your rights are upheld throughout the legal process.

  2. Respond to the Lawsuit: When served with a collection lawsuit, it's crucial not to ignore it. Failure to respond can result in a default judgment against you. Instead, take action by filing a written response with the court within the specified time frame, typically 20-45 days depending on the type of lawsuit. Your response should address each allegation made by the creditor and assert any legal defenses you may have.

  3. Challenge the Creditor's Evidence: In many collection suits, creditors rely on incomplete or inaccurate documentation to prove their case. As the defendant, you have the right to challenge the evidence presented against you. Request the creditor to provide proof of the debt, including the original contract or agreement and a detailed account history. Scrutinize these documents for any discrepancies or irregularities that could weaken the creditor's case.

  4. Assert Legal Defenses: Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be various legal defenses you can assert. Common defenses include:

    • Statute of Limitations: In Wisconsin, creditors have a limited time frame, typically six years, to file a lawsuit to collect a debt. If the statute of limitations has expired, you can argue that the creditor's claim is time-barred.

    • Lack of Standing: Challenge the creditor's legal right to sue by demanding proof that they own the debt and have the legal standing to pursue collection.

    • Improper Service: If you believe you were not properly served with the lawsuit or were served improperly, you can raise this as a defense.

    • Failure to Mitigate Damages: Argue that the creditor failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate damages, such as attempting to negotiate a repayment plan before pursuing legal action.

  5. Attend Court Hearings: If your case proceeds to court, make sure to attend all scheduled hearings. Present your arguments and evidence confidently, and be prepared to respond to any questions from the judge.

  6. Consider Settlement Options: Throughout the litigation process, you may have opportunities to negotiate a settlement with the creditor. This could involve agreeing to a reduced payment amount or a structured repayment plan. Be sure to carefully review any settlement offers and consider seeking advice from a financial advisor before agreeing to any terms.

  7. Seek Legal Advice if Necessary: While defending against a collection suit without a lawyer is possible, seeking legal advice can provide valuable guidance and support, especially if your case is complex or if you're unsure about your legal rights. Many legal aid organizations offer free or low-cost assistance to individuals facing debt collection lawsuits.

In conclusion, defending against a collection suit without a lawyer in Wisconsin requires careful attention to detail, a thorough understanding of your rights, and a willingness to assert your defenses assertively. By following the steps outlined in this guide and staying proactive throughout the legal process, you can effectively defend yourself against creditor claims and protect your rights as a debtor.

Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey offers free consultations to explain your legal rights in Wisconsin. Free consultations can be scheduled online. 

About the Author

Nathan DeLadurantey

Nathan DeLadurantey ATTORNEY [email protected] Nathan is a skilled consumer lawyer who handles cases and trials all over Wisconsin. Phone consultations are always free and welcomed. Nathan has helped clients receive large jury verdicts and settlements stemming from consumer law violations, and is ready and able to assist.


The DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC is committed to answering your questions about Vehicle Repo's, Credit Report/Identity Theft, Auto Fraud, and Debt Collection Abuse law issues in Wisconsin.

We offer free consultation and look forward to discussing your case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC
Mon: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Tue: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Wed: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Thu: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Fri: 08:00am - 05:00pm