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Category: Legal
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Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 3 decades of experience in the legal field.
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I have just received a summons for medical bills I acquired

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I have just received a summons for medical bills I acquired last year. I was laid off from my job late last year and I can't afford a lawyer. How do I write an answer to a summons. I do acknowledge that I owe the money and am willing to make payments. Is it too late for me to offer to make payments? How should I handle this?

Good afternoon,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

Since you admit that you owe the money demanded, then you can probably short circuit the litigation and avoid spending money that you don't have to spend.

While it is unlikely that they will offer you a payment plan right now, they may work with you after they get their judgment.

You can contact the attorney whose name appears on the summons and complaint and tell him or her that you admit to owing the money and would like for them to accept a consent judgment. They can easily draft this document. It merely says that you agree that you owe the money and when filed with the court the court will issue a judgment against you. This will alleviate the need for you to file your answer to participate in the litigation.

Alternatively, you can do nothing and in a couple of months they will be able to perfect a default judgment against you--which is similar in effect to you agreeing to a consent judgment--they would then have the ability to try and collect the money from you.

Finally, if the bills are significant and you don't see yourself being able to pay for them in the future, you might consider filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy. This would allow you to pay as little as 10 to 20 cents on the dollar of the medical bill over a 3 to 5 year period.

I wish you well, and hope that all works out for you.

Thank you very much for having allowed me to assist you. It would be greatly appreciated if you would click the green Accept icon so that I can receive credit for having assisted you.

Best regards,


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