I had severval medical bills sent to a collection agency. The agency set up a monthly payment for me that got taken directly out of my account every month. However, the payment plan ended, and due to my awkward work schedule and several moves, i didnt receive the notification. The agency has now sent it to Small Claims court. When i called them to try to set up another plan, they said even if i did that it wouldnt drop the lawsuit. I would have to pay it in full to drop the lawsuit. Can they do that if im willing to pay every month? How can i get out of having to go to court?
Hello and thank you for asking your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will be assisting you. I'm sorry to hear of your issues with the collection agency. Unfortunately, as the owner of your debt, the collection agency can choose how to collect the debt. This means that the collection agency does not have to continue a payment plan or let you enter into a new payment plan agreement. If you can't get them to settle, you can consider whether you want to file an answer to the small claim, which would avoid having a default judgment entered against you. The only other way to avoid going to court would be to have them enter into a settlement. However, at this point they have been clear that they are unwilling to do so. Thus, it might make sense to file an answer with the court in the time alloted by the summons you received, so you can avoid a default. Once you file an answer and they see that you are litigating the case, they may be more willing to settle, rather than incurring attorney's fees to continue fighting the case.
So if I notify the court before the court date of my answer, will i still have to appear in court, or will it be considered settled without an actually appearance in court?
Thanks for your follow up post. The only way the case would be considered "settled" is if the collector settles with you and drops the suit. Otherwise, you would be required to participate in the suit as may be required by the court and appear at any hearings that are scheduled.
Corporate, Real Estate, Estate Planning, Probate and General Litigation attorney 14+ years
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