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Registered: ‎08-08-2007
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HEL! JUST RECEIVED SUMMONS PAPER..

I am trying to find out some insight (any would be great) on a medical collection bill. I received a summons to file an appearance for a past due medical bill. Yes it is my bill and I do owe the money. The questions is this: I have had credit problems in the past due to medical bills and have finally started to straighten out my credit and my score is rising. The last thing I need is a judgement for this bill to be put on my credit. When I tried to phone the lawyer they told me "Oh the judgement is already on your credit and you don't even have to appear in court just set up a payment plan with us. Well I know this is not true since I not only received the summons today, but I monitor my credit daily so the woman at the law office state if I don't appear they will just enter a default judgement against me. I even offered to pay the bill in full and they still stated a judgement will still be entered???? Can someone explain how a judgement gets entered if i pay the amount due before the court date? Or can I offer to tell the judge I will pay in full?? Any advice would be great to keep this off my credit.
 
I LIVE IN ILLINOIS
MAIN QUESTION IS: IF I PAY THE TOTAL DUE CAN A JUDGEMENT STILL BE ENTERED?
Contributor
Posts: 123
Registered: ‎05-14-2007
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Re: HEL! JUST RECEIVED SUMMONS PAPER..

Hello,
 
First things first - don't call them anymore.  Remember the old saying - "anything you say can and will be used against you".  It sounds like they're trying to bully and scare you into paying.  
 
Have you verified that the summons that you have is legitimate?  Was is served by a sheriff or a court official? If not, then the first thing that I would do is check to see if the summons is legitimate.  Check with the clerk of courts where the lawsuit was "filed" and verify that the summons is real.  One of the sneaky tricks that junk-debt collectors do is send collection requests that look like a summons so the person will be frightened into paying, thinking that they'll have to go to court.  
 
If the summons is real, then you need to get a lawyer RIGHT AWAY and have that lawyer represent you!!  The site http://www.naca.net has a list of lawyers who specialize in credit cases.  They can advise you on what to do based on the situation.  The lawyer can also tell you how an out-of-court settlement will appear on a CR, if it even appears on the CR at all.   I'm not sure, but I don't think it shows up as a judgement, but the account may show up as a "paid collection" on your report.  Double-check with the attorney.
  • If the SOL has expired on the debt, the CA can't sue you, and you can use that as a defense in court.  If you decide to go to court, make sure that you have that lawyer go to court with you to represent you.  
    • If you do want to honor that bill, even if the SOL has expired, then you need to work with the attorney to help you make a settlement with them before it gets to court.    You're in the catbird seat because of the expired SOL (if the SOL expired), so more than likely, you may be able to get a settlement that's completely in your favor.  
  • If the SOL hasn't expired, then the lawyer can work with their lawyers to settle the case before it gets to court where everyone is happy.   An example settlement - you pay the money owed (or a % of what's owed) in Y amount of time, and in return, they drop the lawsuit AND they don't report it on your CR.   Follow up with the attorney that you choose to represent you to see if a settlement shows up on your CR as a judgement.  
The woman that you spoke to at the law firm is correct - if you don't show up, the court will enter a default judgement against you, and it WILL show up on your credit report.  
Regular Contributor
Posts: 205
Registered: ‎06-20-2007
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Re: HEL! JUST RECEIVED SUMMONS PAPER..



JennLewis wrote:
Hello,
 
First things first - don't call them anymore.  Remember the old saying - "anything you say can and will be used against you".  It sounds like they're trying to bully and scare you into paying.  
 
Have you verified that the summons that you have is legitimate?  Was is served by a sheriff or a court official? If not, then the first thing that I would do is check to see if the summons is legitimate.  Check with the clerk of courts where the lawsuit was "filed" and verify that the summons is real.  One of the sneaky tricks that junk-debt collectors do is send collection requests that look like a summons so the person will be frightened into paying, thinking that they'll have to go to court.  
 
If the summons is real, then you need to get a lawyer RIGHT AWAY and have that lawyer represent you!!  The site http://www.naca.net has a list of lawyers who specialize in credit cases.  They can advise you on what to do based on the situation.  The lawyer can also tell you how an out-of-court settlement will appear on a CR, if it even appears on the CR at all.   I'm not sure, but I don't think it shows up as a judgement, but the account may show up as a "paid collection" on your report.  Double-check with the attorney.
  • If the SOL has expired on the debt, the CA can't sue you, and you can use that as a defense in court.  If you decide to go to court, make sure that you have that lawyer go to court with you to represent you.  
    • If you do want to honor that bill, even if the SOL has expired, then you need to work with the attorney to help you make a settlement with them before it gets to court.    You're in the catbird seat because of the expired SOL (if the SOL expired), so more than likely, you may be able to get a settlement that's completely in your favor.  
  • If the SOL hasn't expired, then the lawyer can work with their lawyers to settle the case before it gets to court where everyone is happy.   An example settlement - you pay the money owed (or a % of what's owed) in Y amount of time, and in return, they drop the lawsuit AND they don't report it on your CR.   Follow up with the attorney that you choose to represent you to see if a settlement shows up on your CR as a judgement.  
The woman that you spoke to at the law firm is correct - if you don't show up, the court will enter a default judgement against you, and it WILL show up on your credit report.  


If the OP has the wherewithall to pay, shouldn't he/she just pay the bill before the court date?  If there is nothing to get a judgement for, then there will be nothing to put on the CR. 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 436
Registered: ‎06-15-2007
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Re: HEL! JUST RECEIVED SUMMONS PAPER..

Pay the bill. Send a certified bank check via Fedex where they have to sign for it. Do not call them anymore. If you can pay now, do this right away. Then answer the summons, go to court and the judge will throw out the case most likely. I was sued before for a small 330 pay day advance. I paid before court and still showed up. Everything was dropped. Since it was paid, the other side never showed up and I won, but the judge also stated that if the item was already paid, there was no need for a judgement.
Contributor
Posts: 123
Registered: ‎05-14-2007
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Re: HEL! JUST RECEIVED SUMMONS PAPER..

Hi Daytona,
 
Yeah, that would make sense - BUT it appears that a lawsuit has already been filed, and it now gets stickier.
 
  • The OP will STILL have to go to court if the CA suing the poster doesn't drop the lawsuit after receiving payment.   It's highly possible that they won't - see the experience from another poster on this thread re: his/her experiences of paying the bill during litigation.   Not only that, there's a chance that the CA could show up just to take a chance that the OP will not show up to court because the s/he thinks that "hey, my bill is paid so all is well".  If the bill is high enough, the CA may find it worth its while to take that chance.  If the OP doesn't show up for court - default judgement for the plaintiff, and it becomes a bigger mess for the original poster to prove that the bill was actually paid, etc. etc. etc.
  • In the majority of the states, once a case is in litigation and if the CA doesn't agree to drop the lawsuit, the settlement offers (an "Offer to Settle" application) need to go through the court system so everything is documented. 

From what I'm gathering from what the OP said, the OP tried to resolve this on his/her own and the CA is not playing ball.  The attorney will be able to advise him/her on the best way to settle where it's to the OP's advantage (bill doesn't appear on CR), ESPECIALLY if the SOL has already expired.   The attorney may also be able to use his/her "power of persuasion" to get the CA to drop the lawsuit completely, as well as get a PFD for the OP. 

Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 7,326
Registered: ‎06-18-2007
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Re: HEL! JUST RECEIVED SUMMONS PAPER..

[ Edited ]
Lugger,  this is your state SOL    BUT call & find out what medical bills  come under they might be different.
 
Call the clerks office & ask what you need to do. In my state there is paperwork that I can send the court  stating that i intend to be there defending myself. It must be filed within 30 days after receiving the summons. The clerk will als advise you what happens after your papers are filed.
 
Is this bill be handled by a CA  if so what is the date of service & with who?  hosp. doc??
Is it showing on your CR?
 
In my state & all that I know of...in order to get a judgment both parties MUST appear in court!!!
If you do not show up  it is automatic judgment. If you are there & they are not PUFF GONE!
 
At any time before court you & debtor can come to an agreement as to payment.
 
this is just my opinion...If this is a CA  send a DV letter asking for full documentation with your signiture.
It will not stop court date BUT it might slow them down. You need to know if the CA owns the debt or if a hosp.or doctor assigned it to them.
 
If paid in full it will avoid a judgment BUT  if not in writting it can be reported on your CR.
 
Never call everything in writting & state that in your letter.


lugger26 wrote:
I am trying to find out some insight (any would be great) on a medical collection bill. I received a summons to file an appearance for a past due medical bill. Yes it is my bill and I do owe the money. The questions is this: I have had credit problems in the past due to medical bills and have finally started to straighten out my credit and my score is rising. The last thing I need is a judgement for this bill to be put on my credit. When I tried to phone the lawyer they told me "Oh the judgement is already on your credit and you don't even have to appear in court just set up a payment plan with us. Well I know this is not true since I not only received the summons today, but I monitor my credit daily so the woman at the law office state if I don't appear they will just enter a default judgement against me. I even offered to pay the bill in full and they still stated a judgement will still be entered???? Can someone explain how a judgement gets entered if i pay the amount due before the court date? Or can I offer to tell the judge I will pay in full?? Any advice would be great to keep this off my credit.
 
I LIVE IN ILLINOIS
MAIN QUESTION IS: IF I PAY THE TOTAL DUE CAN A JUDGEMENT STILL BE ENTERED?





Message Edited by HappyDays on 08-08-2007 06:08 PM

Message Edited by HappyDays on 08-08-2007 06:50 PM
Established Contributor
Posts: 678
Registered: ‎05-29-2007
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Re: HEL! JUST RECEIVED SUMMONS PAPER..

[ Edited ]
Generally, if you pay before the court date, the judge will dismiss the case and it will be noted as "Dimissed - Settlement Reached" on the court docket.


Message Edited by TexMontana on 08-08-2007 06:46 PM
" I like to live as a poor man, with a lot of money." - Pablo Picasso (who was a jerk.)
Established Member
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎07-19-2007
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Re: HEL! JUST RECEIVED SUMMONS PAPER..

Whatever you do, make sure you go to court or answer within the time indicated on the summons. If you don't you will have a default judgment entered against you. What is the amount of money they're suing for? In Illinois (at least most counties without a local rule) the small claims limit is $10,000. If they're suing for less than that, it is small claims court and you should not need a lawyer to represent you, at least initially.
   Even if you pay the bill in full, once they have filed the lawsuit, they may be entitled to attorneys fees and court costs since they had to file suit before you paid. In my experience, however, if you pay the bill in full, they're usuallly willing to forego those costs and fees if you ask. That may not be the case if you pay without making that arrangement first, however. Whoever said to ask the court clerk was right. Especially if you live in a smaller county, the clerk can be an invaluable asset -- they can tell you if lawyers are usually willing to settle,, etc. Just do not ignore the summons!
Established Contributor
Posts: 570
Registered: ‎05-02-2007
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Re: HEL! JUST RECEIVED SUMMONS PAPER..

It's too bad you didn't get that recordedSmiley Happy  You have to be careful because some CAs send "fake" documents that have a case number on them.  The first thing you need to do is as mentioned, verify the case number is real, and find out if there is a court date.
 
I would do as suggested and send the payment overnight if possible so you have proof, you could go after them like crazy - only thing is you need to prove "what was in the envelope" and will they cash the checkSmiley Happy
 
I responded to a Summons, the CA filed a "no response affidavit" with the Court, never had a hearing and received a "Judgment Granted" notice in the mail.  SOBs took my entire bank account two months later.  I have become MUCHO wiser.  Found out this CA was doing it to many people in MN!  Point is, keep the court number handy.  Another thing...
 
A friend of mine received documents that appeared legit, then a notice of a Judgment but it was one page and looked really odd (remember by this time I had received my own Judgment notice).  Nothing came in the mail for about 6 months after that, ever since then about every 2 months, he receives notices from the stupid law firm that they will settle for half or a negotiated amount - well #1, any idiot knows if there is a judgment against you, there is no reason to say OK I'll settle - they will clean you out for the full amount.  #2 - I checked the Court house computer by the Case # listed just a month ago and there is no such case or judgment against him.
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Posts: 4,635
Registered: ‎03-11-2007
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Re: HEL! JUST RECEIVED SUMMONS PAPER..

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