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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 30167
Experience:  Lawyer
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I have a warrant in debt in VA 10, for $1,624.00 bills. I 't

Customer Question

I have a warrant in debt in VA for May 10, for $1,624.00 for medical bills. I don't want this on my credit, and don't want my bank account garnished, i however cannot afford to pay the lump sum and wondering what to do.
JA: The Consumer Protection Lawyer will need to help you with this. Anything else I can tell the Consumer Protection Lawyer before I connect you two?
Customer: no, that is all.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Consumer Protection Lawyer about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear you're being sued.

Once you get to this point in the process, your options unfortunately become fairly limited. And if the other party isn't willing to work with you, that can make it even more difficult. But, generally, here are the options that you may be able to pursue:

  1. Go to court and make them prove you owe the money. If they don't have evidence showing that you received treatment totaling that amount, you'll be able to ask the judge to rule in your favor. Notes that this option TENDS to work best when you're being sued by a third party debt collector, because they are notoriously bad record-keepers. They will frequently sue based on the hopes that no one shows up to dispute the debt. If you're being sued by the original provider, it's more likely they'll have the evidence they need. You can also produce whatever evidence you have at this time that you do not owe the money - like if they're charging for services not provided or you had to have another doctor fix the problem later. However, inability to pay is unfortunately not a defense.
  2. Call and offer to make monthly payments if they'll dismiss the case. Keep in mind that, if they get a judgment, they'll be able to garnish up to 25% of your wages unless you have a prior judgment. They CANNOT garnish Social Security or retirement funds, and they can't garnish your bank account if that's the only money in it.
  3. Call and offer to pay a lump sum of as much as you can if they'll dismiss the case. Sometimes they'll settle for a lot less than the total owed, if you can give them cash. That's because it takes time to go to court, and they may prefer to use that time to do other things (especially since this is a relatively small debt, as far as medical bills go).
  4. File for bankruptcy. You said you don't want this on your credit, so that may not be an option you're interested in pursuing, but it IS available as a last resort.
  5. Try to borrow the money from friends and family in order to pay off the creditor and keep the debt off your credit.

Note that for any of those options, you will have to go to court on May 10 to avoid judging a judgment entered against you, unless you can get confirmation from the court that they've settled.

I realize that this is a lot of information, so please let me know if you have any questions about any of it. If not, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. Thank you.