Medical Debt

Does the debt collector have a right to put a judgment against you when you are making payments to them. Also, put it on your credit report and charge you interest and fees to your balance? Thanks

Comments for Medical Debt

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Jan 06, 2010
judgment on medical debt
by: Gerri

There is a misconception that as long as you are paying something toward a debt, the creditor or collector can't sue you to collect. But that's not true. However, if they do decide to sue you for the debt, they must take you to court first in order to get a judgment.

It's not clear to me whether they have already obtained a judgment against you, or whether they are threatening to sue. If it's the former, then the question is whether you were properly served (notified of the impending lawsuit). If you don't believe you were, then you should definitely talk with a consumer law attorney.

If you are being threatened with a lawsuit, then you have two choices. One would be to talk with an attorney (consumer law or bankruptcy) who can help you understand your options. The first consultation should be free, so it would not hurt to meet with them.

The other option would be to contact the law firm that is threatening to sue and see if they won't work out a payment arrangement you can afford. Whatever you do, show up in court to tell the judge your side of the story. If you don't show up, the creditor/collector will get a default judgment against you and that opens up other avenues for them to collect.

As for your next question, under most state laws, interest and penalties are allowed, but it is not uncommon for those charges to be illegally inflated. Again, if you think something fishy is going on, talk with an attorney.

If you call the Collection Complaint Hotline you will be connected to an attorney in your area who can tell you if their debt collection tactics are illegal. For a free consultation, call 888-711-5183.

And, finally, yes, if you fell behind on the debt it can be reported to the credit reporting agencies, but you have the right to dispute that listing if is it inaccurate or incomplete.

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