Should I still file an answer to a debt collection suit even though we have reached an agreement?

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Should I still file an answer to a debt collection suit even though we have reached an agreement?

A lawsuit has been filed against me for an unpaid hospital bill. I received the summons and complaint. I didn’t file an anser yet. The lawyer representing the hospital and I have reached a payment plan. They are sending me the paperwork to sign.

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since the case was settled, you won't need to file an answer to the complaint. The complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons. When you sign the settlement agreement and release, the attorney should file a dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice.  A dismissal with prejudice means the case cannot be reinstated.  A dismissal without prejudice means the case could be reinstated in the future.

If it is getting close to the time for your answer to the complaint to be filed with the court and you haven't received the settlement agreement, you should contact the opposing attorney to get something in writing that the attorney won't file a default for not timely filing the answer to the complaint.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since the case was settled, you won't need to file an answer to the complaint. The complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons. When you sign the settlement agreement and release, the attorney should file a dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice.  A dismissal with prejudice means the case cannot be reinstated.  A dismissal without prejudice means the case could be reinstated in the future.

If it is getting close to the time for your answer to the complaint to be filed with the court and you haven't received the settlement agreement, you should contact the opposing attorney to get something in writing that the attorney won't file a default for not timely filing the answer to the complaint.


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