What to do if I received a summons in the mail regarding an outstanding bill?

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What to do if I received a summons in the mail regarding an outstanding bill?

I had received emergency care at a local hospital. I was unable to pay my medical bill due to the extremely high cost and lack of a job. My debt was then bought by an out of state collections agency. I received no bills in the mail nor calls. I received a summons and complaint. I have 8days to send my answer. Should I do so? Or should I try to settle? The amount owed is $20,000.

Asked on August 2, 2011 Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you received a summons and complaint in the mail for an unpaid debt, most likely you have been sub-served through another person with the summons and complaint where you live and the mailing perfected the sub-service.

You should consult with an attorney about the $20,000 claim immediately so that a proper answer with affirmative defenses can be filed in response to the complaint. If you do not file an answer to the complaint within the required time frame, your default will be taken and you will end up with a judgment taken against you.

If you have the finances to enter into an installment payment plan with the local hospital to pay down the debt that you presumably owe on terms you can afford, you should attempt to do so.

Good luck.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you received a summons and complaint in the mail for an unpaid debt, most likely you have been sub-served through another person with the summons and complaint where you live and the mailing perfected the sub-service.

You should consult with an attorney about the $20,000 claim immediately so that a proper answer with affirmative defenses can be filed in response to the complaint. If you do not file an answer to the complaint within the required time frame, your default will be taken and you will end up with a judgment taken against you.

If you have the finances to enter into an installment payment plan with the local hospital to pay down the debt that you presumably owe on terms you can afford, you should attempt to do so.

Good luck.


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