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I was served yesterday with a lawsuit for a a medical bill…

I was served yesterday...

I was served yesterday with a lawsuit for a a medical bill that I have not paid. Im behind alot on some of my medical bills, but I was getting ready and situated to do a debt consolidation. My question is, what is the best course of action? I want to set up a payment plan with the company suing me out of court. I cannot afford to pay all up front and cannot afford to lose any of my assets. Im barely making it right now.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Oklahoma

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

I was served just yesterday I dont know

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I've never been in this situation before, so I dont know exactly what to ask

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Answered in 6 minutes by:
3/12/2018
LegalPro54
LegalPro54, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,558
Experience: General practitioner with diverse legal experience.
Verified

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to answer your question.

Typically you would want to call up the attorney whose name appears on the pleadings you were served with and explain that you are interested in settling the debt in exchange for a dismissal of the lawsuit. A reasonable proposal would be to offer a down payment of at least 20% (that way they know you are serious about paying and this isn't simply an effort to buy time or evade), with the remainder divided into 6 equal payments to be paid on a monthly installment basis with no interest, provided all installment payments are timely.

Additionally, and you do not have to propose this off the bat, but as an added incentive you could offer to stipulate to have the debt entered as a judgment in exchange for the installment plan. This will give the debtor the added benefit of being able to engage in judgment collection efforts against you in the event you don't make good on your payment plan. Basically it gives them extra security and makes it more likely they would agree to the installments because they know they'll have recourse against you if you don't make good on the payments.

Finally, as leverage to negotiate a settlement you can let the law firm for the debtor know that you don't have much money and are considering bankruptcy as an alternative solution. They'll know that if you file bankruptcy their client is unlikely to get anything at all, and so this will make them more likely to agree to a settlement.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

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Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

divide the total debt by six and propose six equal monthly installment payments with interest waives provided all payments are timely.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I cannot afford the 20% payments. That is like $880 if done in 6 installments. I would like to file bankruptcy. Would that mean I would lose my car since I am making payments? What chapter would I have to file to keep my car?

You could certainly propose 12 installments instead of 6.

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I don't think they would agree to installments more than 12, though, and even 12 might be pushing it.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Also, how do I go about filing bankruptcy? Can I do so while in a lawsuit?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Would I lose my car if I file for bankruptcy?

To file bankruptcy you will need to contact a local bankruptcy attorney. You can absolutely file for bankruptcy while your lawsuit is pending, and in fact this is most wise. What will happen is the bankruptcy will immediately freeze the lawsuit and the lawsuit will stop.

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Whether you would lose your car depends on a variety of factors that are rather complicated to assess, but in most cases you are able to keep you car even after filing bankruptcy. However, I am not a bankruptcy attorney--that is its own practice area--and so you would need to discuss this with your bankruptcy attorney.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Okay, thank you.

See here to find a bankruptcy attorney in your area.

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If there is anything else I can do for you, just let me know. It's my pleasure...

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you for your help today. Im freaking out.

I understand this is stressful and I am very sorry for what you're going through. I would try calling the attorney and asking for a payment plan on the terms I have suggested above. Another option is to just let the case go to default and force them to engage in judgment collection efforts against you. You could certainly wait till then to file for bankruptcy, if need be.

Again, please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

LegalPro54
LegalPro54, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,558
Experience: General practitioner with diverse legal experience.
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
They did attach one document to get my employment information. That means they are going to try to garnish my wages.
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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