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Dear JACUSTOMER - You can prepare the answer using the same heading as the heading on the complaint that was filed and should be included with the summons. It will have the court name at the top and the parties and the case number XXXXX Where is says "Complaint" you would put "Answer". Then below that you can simply say "Defendant denies for want of knowledge the allegations contained in Plaintiff's Complaint".
That says that you do not have enough information to admit or deny what they are claiming and forces them to prove the amount and that there was an account. If you have any other defenses, such as if they sued the wrong person etc. then you should claim any of those defenses. You will then include your address and phone number below and sign the Answer, just like the attorney for the plaintiff did on the complaint.
Make several copies and file them with the clerk of courts where the suit was filed. Then send a copy to the attorney for the plaintiff. This will keep the plaintiff from being able to get a default judgment and will get the case into the court system. You will then have to wait to see what may be filed next, either from the court or from the plaintiff.
The reason has nothing to do with the fact that the debt is owed and if you start explaining you will essentially be admitting that you owe the debt meaning the creditor will not have to prove that fact. I see no reason to explain since the credit card company could care less why the debt was not paid, only that it is owed.
They did attach credit card statements to the complaint. If I go to court will I have to pay the full amount or can it be settled down?
Going to court or not going to court is not going to affect how much you will end up paying. The court is probably going to issue a judgment at some point so filing an answer is simply a way to delay the process and give you some time to negotiate. When and if a judgment is granted by the court it will be for the full amount and any settlement agreement will have to be between you and the lawyer for the credit card company.