If there is any chance that it has been 5 years or more, then you should raise the statute of limitations
as a defense.
You will need to file a response/answer to the petition to avoid allowing the company to obtain a default judgment against you, but the filing fee should have been paid by the plaintiff, not you. They can seek court costs in the petition, in addition to the account balance.
It is best to retain at least an experienced paralegal to assist you in drafting and filing the appropriate documents. That is a much less expensive alternative than an attorney, but they are not permitted to represent you.
Your answer will either admit or deny each allegation set forth in the petition and include any affirmative defenses
such as the statute of limitations at the bottom of your answer.
As long as you file timely, it will ultimately require the company to prove the amount you owe through documentation. If they fail to carry their burden of proof
, then you would typically move to dismiss the case.
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