Being sued over medical bills? Please help!!?

I received a "Summons" letter from the district court of our city attached with a "complaint" from the collection agency (also it's been witnessed by the clerk in our district court). We owe $624.74. Ok, obviously, this is the beginning of being sued. My husband and I know we owe this money...the bill was actually around $1,000 originally and we made a payment of $300 then 4 payments of 75 dollars. So we're not trying to fight it, but unfortunately, due to other medical circumstances, we ended up paying several more $100's and quit making payments to the collection agency which has landed us where we are. What can we do at this point?! I'm desperate. My husband and I are good people, and I'm willing to get this paid off in 30 days if need be...is it too late or do we HAVE to appear in court now?! This is so depressing and we've never been in this situation before and I just don't know what we can do...will they accept payment arrangements now? Someone please please help!!? :-(
Answer:   Call the lawyer who filed the complaint, who may be willing to accept a payment plan. If your district court has a mediation service, try mediation, which will help you work out a payment plan.

Don't panic. You have 21 days (usually) from the date of service to file an answer. If you do not file an answer, the plaintiff will get a default judgment and, depending on your state, may be entitled to a wage attachment or garnishment. Given the amount, it is probably a small claims case, so you won't need a lawyer. You can agree to entry of judgment with a payment plan, or maybe continue the case for 6 months to let you pay, then have the case dismissed.

Small claims are usually heard by a clerk-magistrate, not a judge. If you do not pay after the judgment and payment plan are agreed to, then you can get into trouble, so make sure the plan is something you definitely can do, even if the car stops working or income stops or whatever.
Relax the worst that can happen is a judment is placed against you and you are required to pay the amount owed plus any legal expenses. Now you can approach the company and offer a payment plan you can live with and most likely they will accept it. Incidentally even if you went to court you would still be able to have a payment plan. So contact the collections company and tell them you prepared to pay X amount with an additional X amount every month. However in the future rather than ignore the bill contact the collection agency and notify them that you can not make a payment or need to make a reduced payment. Communication goes along way with civil cases which involve collection agencies.
Thats not the beginning...you've been sued. You must appear in court unless the agency withdraws the suit. If you want to pay it, call them and make arrangements.
PS-if you made a payment of 300 and 4 payments of 75 you've paid 600 dollars...are you sure the balance due is right?
First, don't panic. Second the summons to the court is for the initial hearing regarding the debt. It is basically to get wages garnished or to force the payment of the debt. You have a few options. You can make the payment in full by the time the summons hearing or go to the hearing and see if you can get a payment due date delay. Bottom line is that you will have to go to the summons. The reason why they issues the summons is because you stopped communicating to the collection agency. If you would have contacted them to work out a different payment arrangement, it would not have happened. Even paying 10 or 15 dollars towards the debt is acting in good faith and credit agencies are more willing to work with you.

I would also suggest going to your local legal aid office. These are agencies that offer legal advice to you for either nothing or very little, they are great sources of information and advice.
They will always accept payment and if they refuse payment it would look really bad for them in court. Once you get summoned, you need to go, however if you have settled with them they will ask the judge to dismiss.
It wont hurt to try.Call the Hospital administration and talk to them.i think they would rather have the money in 30 day than pay a collection agency half of it. Good luck.
It sounds like they have filed a civil summons(without using an their attorney). Don't fret, it's not too late. SHOW UP TO YOUR COURT DATE! if you don't, it will look like you are dodging payment. Make sure you bring any and all payment records/correspondence that you have made with the collection agency. I would also bring some bank statements showing your incoming/outgoing money. They might be open to payment arrangements...never hurts to ask. And if you can make a payment at your court date(in front of the judge) that would look good too. Good Luck...
First things first ... relax and take a deep breath and see below if any fits.

Did the collection agency send you monthly billings saying you owe a certain amount - AND YOU DID NOT ANSWER THEM EITHER WAY ... if not - GREAT; but, if they did and you did not answer - not so great but not fatal.

Did the collection agency write you and say they were going to prosecute if you did not do something - BETWEEN YOUR LAST PAYMENT AND THE DA CONTACTING YOU?

If so - you need to write the hospital IMMEDIATELY under the public information act/open records act and request a detailed listing of the services rendered that the original billing was based upon ...

WHY? Simply because you may have been billed for things that they did not provide for you ... extra bandages, a morphine drip ... something - and

You simply state to the judge if necessary that you were getting caught up on your payments but wanted to make sure - AND YOU DID NOT KNOW HOW TO FIND OUT - and it just took some time - BUT - YOU NEVER INTENDED NOT TO PAY ... JUST NOT TO PAY FOR SERVICES IF THEY WERE NOT JUSTIFIED ... it only took a while for you to figure out how to get the information from the hospital; and,

THE COLLECTION AGENCY WOULD NOT HAVE THAT INFORMATION - JUST THE BILL ... and tell them how you did not know if everything ws turned over to the collection agency with the full authority over it ... AND YOU JUST NOW FOUND OUT WHAT TO DO ...

When you send out the request in writing for the information from the hospital - also send the information to the collection agency and tell them you will continue payments once the billing is verified and justified ... that you are not at all not wanting to pay the bill - you want to -= but want it to be correct is all ... AND SEND THEM A $10.00 DOLLAR CHECK - TO ESTABLISH "GOOD FAITH" ... THIS WILL KEEP NEGOTIATIONS OPEN ...

Then write your DA and tell him that you have no intentions to appear before any court WHILE YOU ARE IN NEGOTIATIONS OVER A BILLING ... let him know that a court cannot hear a matter unless it is past the negotiations stages - use this ... but find it in your state's constitution or the amendments thereof ... this is for Texas and is an Amendment:

5 . No suit or case heard or tried in Texas shall be tried in any other
court or jurisdiction when remedies exist at Common Law.

6 . No court in Texas on demand from any party to an action shall refuse
to duly present its standings (Jurisdiction).

BUT - THE BIG ONE IS IN THE TENTH AMENDMENT ...:

10 . Any and all Contracts in Texas whether of public or private interest
shall contain full disclosure to all parties affected by such contract,
and these contracts shall be in a legible and understandable language, and
all parties signing shall also initial each disclosure as understood; this
affects all contracts now in full force and effect which are called into
contest.

If you did not INITIAL next to any part of the contract they want to say you breached - they must present to you that you INITIALED next to it the clause that they could use the DA to prosecute you - OR

THEY DEPRIVED YOU OF FULL DISCLOSURE AND THE CONTRACT SHOULD BE NULL AND VOID FOR THEIR BREACHING THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT ...

can you understand that? it is simple - if you did not initial next to what they claim - you did not have it disclosed to you and you are not held liable ... they use fraud all the time and it's your duty to show tham this ...

Then in your constitution should also have as the 12th amendment in Texas is ...:

12 . If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or
intimidate any Citizen in the free exercise or enjoyment of any Rights
secured or claimed under the Natural or Common Law or by an operational
Constitution at Law : or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or the premises of
another, with intent to prevent or hinder his or her free exercise or any
Right so secured; or
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or
custom, willfully subjects any inhabitants of any State, Land District,
Territory, or District to the deprivation of any rights so secured
Shall be subject to all civil and criminal prosecution, fines and
encumbrances, and forfeitures against their personal property as is
allowed under the Common Law or its Operational Constitutions and the
Rights of Conversion to Common Law.

See - they are trying to hinder you in doing business in your own way, not trying to defraud anyone or stop payments - you are just wanting to verify if your payments are justified in the billing - complete listing of that charged for to see if it is justified - hospitals make mistakes all the time ... - ask for the charts as well showing the nurse, doctors and/or etc. documented that such services were indeed provided at any specified time ...

NOW THEN ... write the DA and tell him that if he does decide to further in this action against you - while you are trying to negotiate and substantiate the billing ... THAT ...

If you later find out that a single band aide was charged for - and he brought you to court to pay for it - you will press charges for violating what can be found easily in your laws, statutes, constitution ... even federal law - by his conspiring with the collection agency who is affored more EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW than you are, as they are being negotiated with and you are not allowed to negotiate?

Tell the DA that a single missbilling would constitute that he did not FULLY INVESTIGATE the matter and he will be held liable if he chooses to DEPRIVE YOU OF YOUR RIGHT TO DO BUSINESS IN YOUR OWN WAY ...

You get the picture - if not - contact me and I will try to help you further ... the DA if he is a smart one will simply stand back and see what comes about -

A court does not have jurisdiction to hear a matter if there is other avenues open to come to an amicable resolution ...

that is why you need to request the public info or the open records act to obtain your information to verify the billing ...

and that is why you are contacting the collection agency and sending them a $10.00 check to establish "good faith" by paying even though you are checking out information.

Tell them if you find that you don't owe - you will be glad to accept your ten bucks back after your investigation

Hope this helped

Peace;

Aintmyfault
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