I was served a summons to appear in court for unpaid medical bills from a hospital.

Asked almost 3 years ago - Denver, CO

I had not received any notices for quite some time. I then received one and 5 days later was served court papers. I contacted the collection agency to try and settle and they said they could not due to a contract with the insurance? They refused to take payments lower then $550 a month for 3 months which includes attorney fees and court costs. Should I submit an answer and if so what should I state in it?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Gary D. Bollinger

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . Bills rarely disappear by ignoring them.

    If you have been served a summons to appear in court, there likely is an attorney name’s subscribed: deals can be made…

    ALSO: DEFAULTS can be entered.

  2. Marc Gregory Wagman

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . You probably are better off showing up to court. Sometimes the judge will force the creditor into a more affordable payment plan when someone shows up to court. They may make you file an answer to the complaint or you can ask for time to hire a lawyer. It really depends on the judge, but a default judgment happens when a person does not show up and defend against the lawsuit. Hope this helps.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The... more
  3. Dorothy G Bunce

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Unless you are ok with a judgment automatically being entered against you, you should file an answer to the complaint. Doing this will buy you some more time & will give you some leverage to negotiate a settlement.

    While the best advice would be to hire an attorney to represent you, I appreciate that you have already ruled out this out.

    The Court may use official forms, and if they do, you can often download this form off the court website. If they don’’t use official forms, you will want find an example of an ““answer”” and follow it as closely as you can.

    In an answer, you respond to each claim made against you, sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph with one of four phrases - ““Admit”” (it’’s 100% true), ““Deny”” (it’’s 100% false), ““Admit in part and Deny in part”” (some of it is true, some is false), and ““Deny for lack of Information (You don’’t know whether it is true or not).

    Unless you dispute some part of the lawsuit, even by saying you don't know, you have not effectively challenged the lawsuit & the court will rule against you.

    Of course, you must sign the answer & in most places, a notary will need to certify that you were the person that signed the answer and that you signed the answer under penalty of perjury.

    Then file the Answer with the Court & wait for a Court date to be scheduled.

    Hope this info helps & good luck!

  4. Mitchell Paul Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Answer and fight. Make them prove that you owe then any money. Just because you might owe the hospital (assuming that the debt can still be collected) does not mean you owe them. DO NOT DEFAULT.

    Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.... more

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