First Time In A Small Claim Court

by Jim
(Foley Alabama)

A collection agency is taking me to small claims court for medical bills unpaid. we set up a agreement of $50 a month to pay off the bill. I made 3 payments and than hours at work were cut. I told them that I could not afford a $50 dollar

I work at Wal-Mart and cut from 40 hours to 32. Put a strain on me to just pay rent and utility buy food and gas to get to work. They said we had a agreement so there were no excuses. so I stop paying. So I received a summons for court. When my taxes came in I called and said I could pay them $400.00 of the $720 owed, I was told they would take the $400 and take the rest in 2payments with the balance of $580. I told them I only owed $720 and I could not pay that in 2 payments. They said now with lawyers a court cos it was now $980.

Do I have to take a $1000 to court with me? If I receive a judgment Wal-mart will let me go as I have seen before in the 11 years. A person gets a judgment and Wal-Mart obeys the law for a couple of months than find some other reason to let them go. So how much money do I have to take to court with me? Or will the judge set up a payment plan I can afford? Oh I did not pay the $400 with tax money because I told them I could not pay the balance in 2 payments because our hours are still cut, you lucky to get 32 hours.

Comments for First Time In A Small Claim Court

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Feb 21, 2011
Going to Small Claims Court


We are so sorry to hear what you have been through. It has to be enormously frustrating and stressful for you.

Unfortunately, we can't tell you exactly how this will turn out for you, or even how much you need to bring to court with you on your court date.

We can suggest the following:

Read our pages about being sued by a debt collector so you have a basic idea of what to do.

At least read the first chapter of our e-book Debt Collection Answers which is posted online to read for free. If you see anything that raises a red flag in the collection agencies' collection efforts, it would be worthwhile to talk with a consumer law attorney to find out whether the collection agency has broken the law in its collection efforts. If it has, it may be found liable for damages and your attorney's fees.

Either way, it really wouldn't hurt for you to talk with a consumer law attorney. It is very common in these lawsuits for the debt collector not to have the information required to prove you owe the debt, the amount is correct and that they have the ability to collect it. The problem is that most consumers don't know how to fight back.

Jim, we suggest you find a consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases locally. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

If you do go to court on your own, be as organized and prepared as possible. Create a file with all your information - what you owed, what you paid etc. - and be prepared to explain clearly and succinctly what happened and how you are doing your best to try to stay afloat.

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