IF your last charge or payment on the account was in 2003 then you are past the collecting SOL for your state.
If that is so, then you need to include an Affirmative Defense of SOL in with your answer.
California SOL Statute:
Open Acct.: Reduced to writing-
Written Contract: §337
Within four years:
1. An action upon any contract, obligation or liability founded upon an instrument in writing, except as provided in Section 336a of this code;
2. An action to recover
(1) upon a book account whether consisting of one or more entries;
(2) upon an account stated based upon an account in writing, but the acknowledgment of the account stated need not be in writing;
(3) a balance due upon a mutual, open and current account, the items of which are in writing; provided, however, that where an account stated is based upon an account of one item, the time shall begin to run from the date of said item, and where an account stated is based upon an account of more than one item, the time shall begin to run from the date of the last item.
If you are past SOL and use a SOL defense, you might also consider filing counterclaims under both the FTC's FDCPA and your states version of the FDCPA..
An example of your states FDCPA:
81. In Kimber v.Federal Financial Corp.(M.D.Ala.1987)668 F.Supp.1480, the court held that it is "unfair " within the meaning of the federal statute to file a time-barred collection suit against a consumer,and that it is a deceptive act to even threaten to file such a suit.
You need to read and use your states Rules of Civil Procedure (RCP) as a guide when writing up your answer.
If you don't feel like you can handle writing and filing the answer on your own, you might speak with an attorney who specializes in consumer credit. (if you cannot find one, you might go to naca.net and look for one in your area)
Some lawyers will give a free first consult so you can see where you stand, ask about that when you call.
If you want to handle it on your own, you might go to a local public or law library and read the Nolo Press Books.
Also, click on my profile and click on the link I've provided for the FTC FDCPA.
You might also click on the last link I have listed to a free credit discussion board. Do some reading in the Newbie Forum and then in the Credit Forum. You will be able to find more information concerning the laws for your state and fed laws, see how others have handled writing up their answers to suits, etc. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.