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I find his requesting that a bit troubling. It is not necessary to file this Notice of Intent to Defend unless you need to buy yourself 10 more days to put in your defence.So if he is saying you don't need to rush there is no need to ask for the notice of intent to defend.
So I think you need to call him on this and also get him to tell you what your deadline actually is, or whether he will agree to speak to you before noting you in default if you've not put it in and he is getting concerned.Do you see what I mean?
I was just thinking about our conversation and have been wondering if you have thought of any follow-up questions for me.