Can a debt collector take me to court without giving me the rightto dispute or arrange payment?

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Can a debt collector take me to court without giving me the rightto dispute or arrange payment?

I have $804 in medical collections. I disputed them with one of the 3 major credit reporting agencies in 2008 and they were taken off my credit report. I never remember speaking or getting anything from the debt collector. I had contact with their attorney 7 days ago and explained the situation. I received a letter today stating my bills and nothing else. I contacted her and she that said she sent a summons to be served on me. Can she do that? She told me the collector had tried numerous times to contact me years ago but I work. I never received a bill from the hospital concerning this.

Asked on September 2, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Did you default on any of your obligations? That is, did you not pay, or not pay the full amount, or not pay on time? If so, the creditor or their collection agency can sue you and take you to  court--they are not obligated to try to work it out with you in advance, outside of court. (Many will, because it makes sense to; but thhey are not forced to do this.)

Remember, just because you're sued, doesn't mean the other side is right or that you'll have to pay what they ask for. Court itself is a forum and mechanism for resolving disputes and adjudicating who has to pay what. You will still have an opportunity to propose settlements and dispute any charges you believe are not correct, simply in a different forum.


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