9 CFR 202.106 - Rule 6: Answer.
(a)Filing and service. Within 20 days after service on a respondent, of a complaint or amendment of a complaint, such person shall file an answer in writing, signed by such person or by the attorney or representative of such person. If a respondent desires an oral hearing, a request for it should be included with the answer of such person. If any answer or amended answer is filed, it shall be served on the complainant.
(b)Required contents. If a respondent desires to make a defense, the answer of such person shall contain a precise statement of the facts which constitute the grounds of defense, and shall specifically admit, deny, or explain each of the allegations of the complaint, except that, if the respondent is without knowledge, such answer shall state that. If a respondent does not desire to make a defense, the answer of such person shall contain an admission of all the allegations of the complaint, or an admission of liability to the complainant in the full amount claimed by the complainant as reparation, or both. An answer may be stricken for failure to comply with these requirements; notice of an order so striking an answer shall be served on the parties; within 20 days after service on a respondent of such a notice, such person shall file an answer which complies with these requirements.
(c)Setoff, counterclaim or cross-claim. The answer may assert a setoff, counterclaim, or cross-claim, or any combination thereof. No counterclaim or cross-claim shall be considered unless it is based on a violation for which the act authorizes reparation to be ordered to be paid, and filed within 90 days after accrual of the cause of action alleged therein: Provided, That a counterclaim not filed within such time limit may be considered if based on a transaction complained of in the complaint. Any cross-claim asserted against a co-respondent, based on a violation for which the act authorizes reparation to be ordered to be paid, and filed within 90 days after accrual of the cause of action alleged therein, shall be served on such person as a complaint; within 20 days after such service, such person shall file an answer thereto in compliance with the above requirements for an answer to a complaint.
(d)Failure to file. If a respondent fails to file an answer as required above, such persons shall be deemed to have admitted all the allegations of the complaint or cross-claim against such person, and to have consented to the issuance of a final order in the proceeding, based on all evidence in the record. For this purpose, the evidence in the record may include information contained in a report of investigation made a part of the record pursuant to rule 4(c), § 202.104(c), and evidence received in a hearing, oral or written, held subsequent to the expiration of the time for filing such answer, but shall not be limited to such information and evidence. Such a respondent shall not be entitled to service provided in these rules, of any notice or document except the final order in the proceeding.