Can I just pay the remaining blance of my debtto the collection company to avoid having to go to court, even if I have already been summoned?

UPDATED: Feb 26, 2011

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Can I just pay the remaining blance of my debtto the collection company to avoid having to go to court, even if I have already been summoned?

Was hit by someone running a stop sign in 11/05. Their insurance didn’t pay my medical bill. Now being sued by collection agency after I called in Jan 2010 about ding they had on my credit. I got my insurer to pay $1000 of the bill, but that’s all they would pay since it had been so long. Needless to say, after them redoing all the paperwork, I am now being summoned again for a measly $470. The collection company’s lawyer just set me a letter saying it was “fruitless” to pursue justice further and I was just racking up his bill. I tired of fighting. How can I make it go away?

Asked on February 26, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If you pay the full amount due, then unless they are also trying to collect for some other permitted fee or expense (e.g. interest; or sometimes creditors can recover collection costs or attorney's fees), they will no longer be able to sue you since the matter will be moot. However, before sending the money, get them to agree that they will dismiss the suit (it doesn't happen automatically; they need to take action to make it go away) and get the agreement signed in writing. Then you can pay the balance, confident that it will resolve the matter. The agreement should also state that the amount you pay is full satisfaction of any and all debts and that they will not seek any additional payments or bring another lawsuit against you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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