What to do about a wage garnishment for hospital bills?

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What to do about a wage garnishment for hospital bills?

I was served papers to go to court but I asked to settle out-of-court and start paying $50 per month starting the next month. The collectors said that was fine. But 2 weeks later I received an e-mail at work that they were garnishing my wages. The same hospital and collectors are taking me to court again for the same year that they garnished me for before. I’m not sure if I should fight this or just pay.

Asked on November 18, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ok it is a bit confusing as to how many years you are being garnished for and the chain of events. But if it is the same bill is it possible that the parties that settled the matter did not realize that the other department was taking a judgement?  It has been known to happen.  So I would see if there is something that you can do to stop the garnishment at this point in time and yes, answer the court papers.  In the papers put in these "affirmative defenses" :  that the debt has been settled as between the parties for a sum certain; that the plaintiff is acting in bad faith by attempting to collect a debt already settled.  Name whatever names you can of the people that you spoke with.  If it is for the same bill it should not be a problem.  If it is for a different bill then you may be in a different boat. 


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