Do I need to appear in court when a re-arrangement has already been made with a collection agency but it was too late to cancel the court date?

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Do I need to appear in court when a re-arrangement has already been made with a collection agency but it was too late to cancel the court date?

I have unpaid medical bills that I have made an arrangement for. Do I still need to appear in court for the judgement?

Asked on April 2, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Definitely appear for court. If you do not show up and the collection agency claims there is no agreement (which would be easy to do, since you are not there to dispute it), you will lose by default and they will get a judgment against you for the full amount. If there is an agreement regarding payment and you are honoring it, there should be no grounds to sue you--but as stated, if you don't show up to represent and defend your interests, it would be too easy for an uscrupulous collections agency to ignore the agreement.

(By the way, it's never too late to cancel court--the collections agency could call up the day before and let the court know it is dismissing the case.)


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