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I'm being sued! What can I do? (Edited)

Posted by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 5:51 PM
  • 34 Replies

So, I will start off by saying that I have a lot of debt. About $30,000 total, and almost all of it is medical bills (about $2,000 is student loans which aren't due yet; none of it is credit card debt or evictions or anything similar). I'm only 25 years old... I've had a lot of health problems in my past and I've never had insurance and until recently, I'd barely even had a job.

Today when I happened to be at my mom's house (I don't live with my mom), a process server showed up at the door and gave me a summons to appear in court on January 3rd because I'm being sued for a little under $4,000 due to not paying the surgeon that performed my appendectomy back in 2010.

I know that I can't simply skip the court date, and that I have to appear or respond in some way. But I also know that if they make a judgement against me (which is likely, especially since I DO have a job now) I am going to be screwed. $4,000 is over five months' worth of pay for me, and I'm paying rent and bills and everything else. On top of that, I'm only a seasonal employee at my job and I could very well become unemployed at the beginning of January which would screw me even more.

I have no idea what to do right now. Should I contact a lawyer? What should I expect from that - especially since I don't have the money to PAY a lawyer? Should I just show up and hope for the best? What information should I bring with me when I appear in court? Is there anything I can say or do that will help my case?

I know it's bad to have this kind of debt, but I honestly have not been able to pay these bills. I've been barely making it without paying them, and I've been trying to save so I can file for bankruptcy but even if I filed now, the summons is in my hands and I know it won't help with this particular case.

Has anyone been through this before? Any advice whatsoever? Please try to keep the bashing to a minimum, I'm doing the best I can as a single mom and I am terrified enough as it is. Thanks in advance.

ETA: A lot of people are saying that the doctor's office would've accepted payments. I did try that, several times, even when I wasn't working - my mom gave me an "allowance" when I was living with her of about $20 a month but the doctor said they couldn't/wouldn't accept less than $100 a month and that it would go towards my bill but they would still continue to have collections contact me and it would still go on my credit and eventually I'd still be sued. But I DID try to avoid this, and I didn't just ignore the doctor's calls or the collection notices.

by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 5:51 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MammaPaparazza
by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 5:53 PM
You will just make payments, which you coulda done the whole time, even if its only 10 a week they would have accepted :(
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Y2kmomma
by Bronze Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 5:55 PM
They will probably order you to pay it and garnish wages if you don't. That's what they did to my SIL.
Good luck with it all =(
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coolmommy2x
by Ruby Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 5:55 PM
Have you tried working with any of your creditors or were you ignoring their attempts at communication? Usually if you explain your situation, they will work with you. See if it's still possible to that.
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Holztastic
by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 5:55 PM

I tried several times to set up payment plans, but they didn't want to accept less than $100 a month and at the time I didn't have a job or any income, I was living off my mother.

Quoting MammaPaparazza:

You will just make payments, which you coulda done the whole time, even if its only 10 a week they would have accepted :(


Amy_M
by Bronze Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 5:56 PM
Even if you pay $5a month they won't take you to court, I would suggest doing this with the rest of your bills.
As far a court I have never dealt with something like this do I have no real advice other than to say that a lawyer will cost you a lot of money
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mitchiesgirl
by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 5:56 PM
You can go to court and try to come up with a payment schedule... You can skip court and the judge will just order you to pay. There is no debtors jail... It's already affected your credit score and it won't get any worse with this... Don't worry to much about it... Just go to court with an idea of what you can pay and go from there. Good luck!
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Y2kmomma
by Bronze Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 5:56 PM
This is true also. I had 3,000 I owed after my son was born, they took $50 payments. I paid it off come tax time, but didn't have to, could have kept doing payments.


Quoting MammaPaparazza:

You will just make payments, which you coulda done the whole time, even if its only 10 a week they would have accepted :(

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-42-
by Gold Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 5:57 PM
I would contact the company to see what I could do to avoid court, as well as the options available for taking care of the debt.
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BewitchedKisses
by Silver Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 6:08 PM

If they summoned you to court, you have to go to court. The judge will probably have them garnish your wages.

You may want to look into bankruptcy if you have that much in medical bills.

MandaRose83
by Silver Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 6:08 PM
Actually you dont have to show up for court but if you dont then the judge will automatically rule against you. The creditor will then usually send you one last letter letting you kbow they are garnishing and if you dont keep your job then there isnt anything to garnish. If you dont own anything they can take they are SOL. You cant get blood from a turnip. I just happened to get my garnishment letter right after I started working so the only pay they had to go off was my very first one with very little hours. I agreed to pay them 25% of my pays which according to that check was only 50/mo. It kept them from going through my employer though. They can also seize your acct. I was lucky when they tried to do that to me I only had 11 dollars in the acct lol.
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