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About Bridget

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  1. The attorney I consulted said they are charging 25% interest, according to the court papers, and he said if we don't make a full payment, I will be paying for the rest of my life. He said he's had clients call him who have been paying these garnishments for ten years and the balance is higher than when they started.
  2. I'll try to explain my situation without it getting too long. In 2012, my son and my husband started a business. My husband and I took out a $5,000 personal loan for it. Apparently you can only get a small business loan if you can prove you don't need it, but that's another issue. Anyhow, the business failed, my husband abandoned it. My son was supposed to make the payments on this loan, as he still had the business. It took my husband and I a long time to get back on our feet and we came close to losing our home. We are finally pretty much recovered, but have little "extra" money after bills and needs are met. Fast forward, it turns out there was a problem with this loan, son didn't keep up the payments. They took my husband's truck, since it was collateral. I hoped that would be the end of it, but no, they figure we still owe them money. They sued us and have begun garnishing my wages. Apparently, we owe $2,650 including court costs. My husband is appealing it, which not sure there is really any grounds, but at least it may give us a few more weeks to figure out what to do. I contacted a lawyer to ask if it was too late to try to settle this for less. First he said it was really too late, but then he backtracked and said maybe. I am thinking of filing bankruptcy. Besides this, which we don't have money to pay, there is another debt from the business that may potentially come back to haunt us too. Also I have $5,000 worth of medical bills which I am only barely chipping away at, and we owe taxes from last year as well. I don't take bankruptcy lightly and I know our debts aren't huge compared to some people's. But I feel like I just can't start over again. Also, the lawyer said this garnishment could go on and on because it requires 25% interest. If we did file bankruptcy, that would stop the garnishment, right? Any help or advice out there?
  3. Bridget

    medical bills

    I have really good news! I finally, after trying to reach someone by phone, went to the hospital, and it turns out they will give me a $9,000 discount for not having insurance. Which brings my hospital bill down to $4,000-something, which is workable! Also, I have financial assistance forms, so that might be helpful too. Thank you so much to all who talked me through what I needed to do and made this situation not seem so hopeless.
  4. Bridget

    medical bills

    Thanks, both of you, for all the info. I think I am going to first speak to a patient advocate to make sure the bill is correct, that I am not being billed twice for anything, and to the best of my ability, that everything I am being billed for was really done. I am also going to look at their policy to see if we fall into the low income category. One more question I have: Are the doctors supposed to bill you for the same procedure that the hospital does?
  5. Bridget

    medical bills

    Thank you for the information. Mercy Medical Center is indeed where I went, so this should be helpful. The biggest bill ($14,299) is coming from the hospital itself. The rest I am being billed is from assorted doctors, so I wll have to figure this out. Honestly, it all got a little side tracked because of Christmas. The hospital did finally send me the bill itemized. Now I am going to try to ascertain exactly what the medical jargon is. From what you learned about Mercy, does that mean it won't be necessary to find out what they would charge Medicaid folks or insurance companies? Because that was to be my next step, but from what you are saying, it sounds like they don't charge more??
  6. Bridget

    medical bills

    Thanks. I will get this book for sure.
  7. Bridget

    medical bills

    Not sure where this thread should go, so here I am. A little about me...I am 55, married, and live in Iowa. I work full-time. We have never had money and always had to worry, at least until recently. Last year, we had a big problem with a debt and settled. Things were going pretty well since my husband was called back to work earlier in the year. In August, I went to the emergency room with chest pains. I wouldn't have, except I really thought I was dying. I was there about 12 hours. They did all sorts of tests and never did come up with a diagnosis. I believe I had a panic attack. Turns out our medical insurance had not started back up again, even though husband was back to work after being laid off. Now the bills are rolling in, $17,000 so far. Apparently every doctor who smiled at me is now billing me. We own our home, with mortgage and saved a tiny bit of money, which was to be used to replace our oven, but that is all we have. I don't know what to do, but am thinking of bankruptcy. It feels shameful, as I was raised that way, but don't know what else to do. I won't underestimate my own selfishness, as for the first time in my life I am actually able to save and have/do a few nice things. I'm just not accepting of giving them everything I have until I'm too old to do anything. Thanks for letting me vent here. I don't have anyone to discuss this with, as we've always been private people, especially about finances. If this should go in another forum, moderators feel free to move it.
  8. OK, I think I have a copy of the card holder agreement. My husband said he took out this agreement in 2006, not 2007, so thanks Art. However, the agreement says that we will pay $50 and that they will pay up to $1,500. It occurs to me that since we owe $2,100, they might very well go for this if they only have to pay $1,500 and we will . most likely lose and have to pay the remainder of the JAMS fee. My husband is all over starting the arbitration process. What does anyone think?
  9. I don't have it and have been told to read it first to be sure HSBC provided for arbitration in our agreement. How exactly do I get a copy of this? The loan was taken out in 2007. The only phone number I can find for them is toll free, but requires a current account or SS # for the system to recognize you and allow you to speak to someone.
  10. I apologize for being a pain, I really do. I have not been in this situation before and it has really rattled me. I don't understand a lot of the terminology and need step-by-step. Sorry. Thank you for your answers to my questions. You have been very helpful.
  11. I posted earlier that we are being sued by cach. I have looked at arbitration, but do not know how to go about it and I cannot locate any help. Looked for a lawyer, but no luck there either. We need to answer the summons soon. Honestly we have no defense except to throw ourselves on the mercy of the court, I feel. Maybe if we contest this, we could convince a judge to feel sorry for us? Or maybe the other party wouldn't show up? Not sure whether either of these is even possible. If we just agree with it, would we still have to pay court costs? And how would they go about getting the money from us? How does that work? Would the judge give us time before ordering wage garnishment? I really need answers so as to know what to do. Thank you.
  12. Does the plaintiff always have to pay for arbitration? Even if we end up losing the lawsuit?
  13. Thanks. This is good information.