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I am being Sued.. HELP!!!!


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I would like to have you all give me some input and advice of how to proceed to the following situation.

I am being sued by a collection agency claiming I owe $4,117.23 to two medical providers, a local hospital and radiology clinic. They have multiple dates of services going back to 2001. In February of 2003 I disputed this information with the collection agency and asked for them to provide verification. They sent me a computer print out of charges. My original request was sent by Certified Mail returned receipt. In that request I asked for documents bearing my signature stating that I agreed to pay for these charges. To this date I have as to yet see any document bearing my signature stating these charges are authorized and legitimate.

The collection agency continued its collection practices and filed a law suit against me in June of 2003. For some odd reason, knowing exactly where I reside, the State or Georgia couldn’t find me to serve me papers until June of 2004.

I answered there suit basically asking the same questions I asked in my DV request. The court ordered us to Mediation. In the mediation process we talked about the debts, and I questioned the debt and disputed it as being valid. In Mediation we both came up with settlement options which both of us turned down. They wanted me to pay the debt in full over a 60 month payment plan.

I agreed to pay them 75% of the debt if they would remove all its negative listings on my Credit Report.

Since neither of us would come to an agreement, I was summoned to appear in court for a “Trial in front of Judge.” On the day and time as asked, I came into court and to my amazement the collection agency had an attorney with representatives from the OC’s but not from the CA. Before the trial, the attorney was acting buddy, buddy with the trial judge. I felt extremely intimated.

Feeling extremely scared and second guessing my plan of action, I asked the court to please give me an extension so I may employ counsel of my own. I told the Judge, I didn’t feel good about trying to defend myself against an experience attorney, and since I am not an attorney, I don’t know about all the court procedures or rules. He denied my request.

The Plaintiffs attorney called a lady from the radiology group who was shown printouts of charges they have billed me for. She testified to the accuracy of those charges and that the printout was one coming from their office. On cross examination, I asked her was she on duty at the hospital on the said dates and times as on the printout. She answered no. I then asked if she knew me personally, every spoken to me before, or every seen my signature on any form authorizing the charges. Her response was no.

The second witness was a lady from the Hospital. We went over various charges on certain dates which some payments were made my United Health Care. The balances remained and there were two charges where no insurance claim was filed due to denial or me not having any insurance.

She also testified about a conversation they said I had with an individual a couple years ago, where I apparently was called by the OC’s collection dept. and supposedly stated that I was not too concerned about my hospital bill and it was not a high priority for me and that If I get sick again, and go to the hospital they would have to see me and treat me or they would be in violation of Federal Law. Then in a following up phone call, I supposedly asked for the hospital bill to be filed under “hilburton,” and that I would come in a feel out the paperwork for assistance. Apparently I didn’t qualify.

On cross I asked who I supposedly had these conversations with. She stated some name of a hospital employee. I asked to where he was at so I can question him about the so called statements. She said she didn’t know. I asked her if there was a recording of this conversation and she claimed she was not sure. I then asked her if she knew me or ever spoken to me before. She said she had spoken to me, since she was previously an employee of the CA that is suing me. She couldn’t recall anything from the conversation, but looking at the history, she seen her initials on my file. She went into procedures that were done in the ER room about charges from one date in service, whereas she claimed it looked like you might have been in the ER room for Kidney Stones. She stated I was given morphine. I asked her if I was supposedly on Morphine, how I could legally authorize any treatments.

This is where the Judge interjected and said I was trying to avoid paying legitimate charges and he didn’t want me to use his courtroom as an avenue of getting out of paying debt. “You either had Kidney Stones, or you didn’t. You are not fooling me, I had them before. So you either had them or Not?”

At this point I told the Judge I couldn’t remember. I feel he was entirely out of line by trying to get me to admit to medical health history.

After asked the witness if she had any documents bearing my signature with her stating I authorized these charges, she claimed no.

The judge interjected asking the witness if it would be possible for them to get copies of my signature on the dates in question. She said maybe, but some accounts before 2002 might be harder since they were scanned. She also claimed she tried to get my signature files before court today, but she couldn’t find it.

I objected and ask the judge to dismiss the suit since the plaintiff has failed to provide proof of this debt. He denied my request.

I then objected to the whole proceeding stating that the plaintiff was in violation of the FDCPA since they failed to provide proof of validation and since I already disputed this debt they are in violation by proceeding with the lawsuit. He again denied my request.

I asked to have the representative from the CA to come up for questioning as I wanted to know why my request for validation was never done. The CA attorney objected stating that no was there from the CA and the OC’s were here but since he represents the CA he would answer for them. So I asked him as to why my request was never answered. He replied he didn’t know.

The Judge then stated he was going to grant us a 60 day extension, to do me a favor by allowing me time to hire a private attorney and give the plaintiff time to get copies of the documents, and to bring in someone from the CA so I can asked any questions. He then said he was going to order my medical records and wants me to sign a HIPPA release form so we can use them as evidence for this trial. I told him I was very uncomfortable signing any form until I talk to an attorney. That’s when he said fine; to hire an attorney and have him/her contact the Plaintiffs attorney to make arrangements.

This is where the case stands today. Looking at my finances there is no way I can afford to hire an attorney to help me out. I simply do not have the income at this presence time to have to pay for that expense. I am living from Paycheck to Paycheck currently and I was hoping to resolve this myself.

While I feel there are clear violations of FDCPA, I am wondering if trying to settle this debt with the Plaintiffs attorney would be my best choice. I really want this to go away, but at the same time, I know I am a person with limited financial resources. I also want this off my credit report... I want to rebuild my credit.

Any Suggestions?


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OK, believe it or not I read the whole post. Pretty long. Sometimes you are best to summarize or place in separate posts. But on to your case.

You didn't mention some pretty important stuff.

1. Did you provided documentation of any kind, had you filed some kind of discovery for them, or they for you?

2. Did you provide case history to back up your claims or highlighted copies of the FCRA, FDCPA or HIPPA act.

3. What was the venue - small claims, civil, etc?

Some case history you might want to dig up are:

Validity of the underlying debt is immaterial.

McCartney v. First City Bank, 970 F.2d 45 (5th Cir. 1992); Baker v. G.C. Services Corp., 677 F.2d 775 (9th Cir. 1982); Mace v. Van Ru Credit Corp., 109 F.3d 338 (7th Cir.

1997); Keele v. Wexler, 149 F.3d 589 (7th Cir. 1998) (Focus is on the debt

collector's conduct, not the consumer's) - Keele v. Wexler, 149 F.3d 589

(7th Cir. 1998).

FDCPA lawsuit and action to collect underlying debt are not compulsory


Peterson v. United Accounts, Inc., 638 F.2d 1134 (8th Cir.

1981). Consumer is therefore not barred from filing separate FDCPA

action even when previously sued on the debt. Debt collector may not

maintain collection action as counterclaim in federal court - Kuhn v.

Account Control Technology, Inc., 865 F.Supp. 1443 (D. Nev. 1994).



United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - April 28, 1999

Gloria and James Mahon (the "Mahons") appeal the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Credit Bureau of Placer County, Inc. and its president, Eugene Bellisario (collectively, the "Credit Bureau"), in the Mahons' action alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. S 1692g. The Mahons contend the district court erred by (1) failing to hear oral argument before granting the Credit Bureau's motion for summary judgment, (2) holding that the Credit Bureau complied with the FDCPA by merely sending a Validation of Debt Notice pursuant to 15 U.S.C. S 1692g(a), without establishing its receipt, and (3) holding that the Credit Bureau adequately verified the debt, as required by 15 U.S.C. S 1692g(B). We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. S 1291, and we affirm.

In addition, here is a great link to an annotated version of the FDCPA. Annotated means that the case law which formed the basis of the law is shown at each point in the document.


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The ending will probably be a sixty month interest-free payment plan. The plaintiff has a very good case and having the OC with representatives testify to the services rendered and what was overhead in the waiting room is pretty damned good stuff. As a former hospital administrator I've seen identical situations with regard to consent for treatment authorization and application for federal Hill-Burton funds. Health care resources are scarce and many folks believe that if they are ill they must be treated but this usually only applies to initial treatment in the ER, and it isn't the same standard of care you would receive if insured! The system must "treat and street" those without medical resources in this country, and that is very unfortunate. Patients with kidney stones are often denied lithotripsy and must wait until seriously ill then requiring expensive surgery on Medicaid. This individual could and probably will need to file bankruptcy to get the debt discharged or reduced.

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First of all I am so sorry about the long post. I just wanted to make sure I said everything and had all the facts of what happened. So far you all have given me lots to think about.

1. I am considering doing my own research as countersuing the Plantiff in State Court (the court currently having the case).

2. I am considering filing a seperate case against the Plantiff in Federal Court.

3. I am thinking of trying to settle this debt with their attorney, or maybe calling the CEO of the hospital and settling with him.

4. Declaring Bankruptcy.

I am just not sure what to do. I don't want to declare BK since I am trying extremely hard repairing my credit. However, if they get a judgement agaist me, I will have no choice, since I can not afford to pay all my bills with a garnishment being taken out of my pay.


I did not privde any documentation since I was never allowed to.

If discovery is what I think it is (reading post from of here) then neither one of us did any discovery.

In my answer to their claim I didn't provide any case history or highlighted copies of any acts or law. I didn't know I had to, or could.

Currently State Court of Chatham County Georgia has the case. Magistrate Court would be small claims court, with State Court being one step above it. It provides a full range of civil and criminal judicial services with jurisdiction within the geographic boundaries of Chatham County.

With respect to CIVIL matters, the Court enjoys concurrent jurisdiction with the Superior Courts(a Higher Court), without regard to a dollar amount, except for those actions where exclusive jurisdiction is vested in the Superior Courts.

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  • 4 weeks later...

State Court of Georgia





Defendant )



) Case No.: No. STCV0000000G







COSTAL ONCOLOGY (03) ($ 621.00)

MEMORIAL MEDICAL CEN (06) ($ 3268.02)

SMILE RITE DENTIST (01) ($ 65.00)




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State Court of Georgia





Defendant )



) Case No.: No. STCV00000000G



The Defendant herein answers the allegations contained in the Plaintiff’s Complaint as follows:

“I wish to be provided with proof & verification of this debt. To date, I have found debt that is not mine and debt that has already been paid. I’ve requested in writing by Certified Mail and by fax from Jerk Collections original or copies of originals of the creditor, the account number, dates of services, signed agreement for payment of services, and proof they had an agreement to collect this debt for the original creditor.”

WHEREFORE the defendant prays that:

“the State Court of Chatham County dismiss the Plaintiff’s civil suit and have them reimburse me for time off from work for the proceedings.”


Defendant’s Signature, (pro se)


I am getting ready to amend my answer, I need help with it and I want to file a counter claim against the collection agency. Can anyone help me ?

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