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Served with Summons Today!


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My husband and I was served with summons for the medical debt by Mutual Hospital Services, inc in the amount of 1827.51 (includes attorney fees and etc) for my 3 years old daughter's kidney tumor medical care.

There is no court date listed on the summons. Just that I have 23 days to file an answer with the court.

I have debt validated this Richard Komyatte and Associates Office and they mailed me the hospital statements.

I called the office today to see if I can work this out...they said I must paid in full by August 31st or the judgement will be entered. I can not afford 1827.51 right now but is willing to work out a payment plan. They said they can do a payment plan but still will enter judgement.

So what do I do now? It is my first summons and I am freaking out.

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Well I suppose you need to look at the whole process and see if the collector broke any laws that you can use to offset the claim against you. I can tell you one already: Telling you a judgment would be entered against you is false and misleading. They have not won their case (yet) and therefore can make no assumption that you will have a judicial rendering against you.

Are they attempting to collect any fees over and above the billed amount? If yes, then that's another violation. They cannot add on court fees or attorney fees unless they win a suit and are granted those fees by the judge. They also cannot charge fees for processing a payment.

The debts are still within the SoL of six years, so you've not got anything there.

The good news is they cannot seize your home. Indiana has a $35,000 homestead exemption. That means unless you have a lien higher than that, they cannot foreclose on your home to recover. So if they do get a judgment against you, they get nothing unless you try to sell or refi your home at which time the lien must be paid. You also have a $4000 personal wild-card exemption so they cannot seize money in a bank account unless you have over $4000...and only then the amount over the exemption is all they can get.

They can garnish up to 25% of your disposable earnings...in other words, your net pay. But you can file an objection with the court if it would place your family in undue hardship or jeapordise the health and wellbeing of a child.

Why was this not paid under medicaid? Did the hospital not offer it to you? That would be a big boo-boo on the hospital's part. They must offer it to patients with the inability to pay. If this is the result of an insurance deduction or unpaid portion submitted to medicaid, then the hospital is supposed to eat that cost in accordance with their contract with the insurer, not try to pass it on to the patient.

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Why was this not paid under medicaid? Did the hospital not offer it to you? That would be a big boo-boo on the hospital's part. They must offer it to patients with the inability to pay. If this is the result of an insurance deduction or unpaid portion submitted to medicaid, then the hospital is supposed to eat that cost in accordance with their contract with the insurer, not try to pass it on to the patient.

Methuss, can you point to where I can get more information about the unpaid deduction part you are referring to above? I'd like to learn more about that.

Thanks!

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Medicaid is just like any other insurance policy in many ways. The major difference is that hospitals that get any sort of public funding are required to offer and accept it.

Medicaid sets rates for procedures just like a regular insurance company does and as far as I'm aware medicaid has no "deductible" unless your income is above certain limits. If it is there is a certain amount you have to pay before full benefits kick in. The same goes for if you have other insurance, the amount you pay yourself is applied to the medicaid deductible before the full benefits kick in.

The hospitals get paid a rate for a procedure and are not allowed to pass on any remaining balance to the patient...just like regular insurance. These rates are set by the government, unlike regular insurance where the rate is negotiated by contract.

Is that what you were looking for?

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Also be aware alot of hospitals have internal collection agencies and are nonreporting, so first find out where exactly is this collection agency is... inside or outside... if it is inside you have more wiggle room to work with.

As Methuss says medicaid helps and usually on the back of the bills state that if you need assistance they give you the information to the organization as well as local organizations in your town to assist people as such in your case. Hope this helps a bit!

Suki.

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MishCPC - If they are willing to do a payment plan, both parties should sign a "stipluated judgment" and file it with the court. This is basically a settlement agreement, you can do a web search for more info. Also, make sure you do file a response to the summons; in the event that something goes wrong with the payment plan, they should not be able to turn around and get a default judgment against you for non-appearance.

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Well I suppose you need to look at the whole process and see if the collector broke any laws that you can use to offset the claim against you. I can tell you one already: Telling you a judgment would be entered against you is false and misleading. They have not won their case (yet) and therefore can make no assumption that you will have a judicial rendering against you.

Are they attempting to collect any fees over and above the billed amount? If yes, then that's another violation. They cannot add on court fees or attorney fees unless they win a suit and are granted those fees by the judge. They also cannot charge fees for processing a payment.

Yes, the actual amount billed by the hospital was 1421.00 and Richard Komyatte and his cronies are demanding I pay 1827.51 by August 31st or judgement will be entered against me.

The good news is they cannot seize your home. Indiana has a $35,000 homestead exemption. That means unless you have a lien higher than that, they cannot foreclose on your home to recover. So if they do get a judgment against you, they get nothing unless you try to sell or refi your home at which time the lien must be paid. You also have a $4000 personal wild-card exemption so they cannot seize money in a bank account unless you have over $4000...and only then the amount over the exemption is all they can get.

That is such a relief for me. WHEW! I was panicking that they ll seize my home for mere 1827.51.

They can garnish up to 25% of your disposable earnings...in other words, your net pay. But you can file an objection with the court if it would place your family in undue hardship or jeapordise the health and wellbeing of a child.

Even if I am self employed? I am an independent contractor working for a hospital coding ER charts and I pay my own taxes. My husband doesnt make that much so we will file an objection if it comes down to that.

Why was this not paid under medicaid? Did the hospital not offer it to you? That would be a big boo-boo on the hospital's part. They must offer it to patients with the inability to pay. If this is the result of an insurance deduction or unpaid portion submitted to medicaid, then the hospital is supposed to eat that cost in accordance with their contract with the insurer, not try to pass it on to the patient.

Because we did not have medicaid. We made too much to be considered for the medicaid but still considered as working poor (we made too much by 300 dollars). It was under my husband's insurance. The cost was after the insurance paid their claims and applied to the deductible. We were never offered any assistance or payment arrangments by tthe hospital.

If they are willing to do a payment plan, both parties should sign a "stipluated judgment" and file it with the court. This is basically a settlement agreement, you can do a web search for more info. Also, make sure you do file a response to the summons; in the event that something goes wrong with the payment plan, they should not be able to turn around and get a default judgment against you for non-appearance.

Thank you so much for that information. I was told by the Mutual Hospital Services (outside collection agency) that I was able to make payments directly to them or to the hospital. Keep the paperwork in case I have to go to the court. But I am confused. Richard Komyatte and Associates is a collection agency as well so why I have two? MHS said they turned over our debts to Richard's office so why is Mutual Hospital the plaintiff (collection agency) with Richard Komyatte's associate as an attorney (also a collection agency?) Does that strike u as odd?

Also, I need help forming a response to the summons. Is anyone willing to help me with it sicne its my first and I dont know what to say.

I really appreciate all the responses. It calms me down, whew. Any mor assistance is greatly appreciated. I plan to type the Answer this weekend but need some more guidance. :)

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Misch..

First of all since they have proven they have the correct information.. what they are asking for is a consent judgement.. They want you to work out a payment plan and IF you do not default you will be fine.

I have two of these.. I have to be honest if they have the ducks in a row avoiding court would be a good idea.. the consent judgement protects them from default.. NO one is going to take your house for a mere 1800.00.. can they garnish in your state even if you are self employed... yes but it is difficult.. also they can go into your bank accounts IF you don't have a payment plan in place.

What I would do , if you decide on the payment plan is to remit from another checking account.. so you are not giving them your information. Open up a new one just for this.

Also lets be honest here.. chances are they are going to get the judgement based on what you have written.. trust me its not the end of the world.. neither of my consent judgements are on my credit report.. and NO action is taken , again, unless you default. You simply sign the papers and then stick to your payment plan

Call them, see what you can work out and DO NOTHING UNTIL YOU HAVE IT IN WRITING!!!!!!!

You can , of course fight it.. but what defense do you have? You owe it and although those attorney fees , well frankly, suck... it unfortuantly is part of the package :(...

But rest assured, I have been where you are.... it can be worked out... *..

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CarolinaBlueEyes, I took your advice and called. This is what they told me. What should I do now?

Copied and quoted: MishRagsdale is me MY IP RELAY is the attorney ( I am deaf so I use relay service to communicate via phone)

My IP Relay: the only way to avoid a

My IP Relay: judgment agreed over default would

My IP Relay: be theto pay inf full

My IP Relay: if she can t pay in full then

My IP Relay: we can sign an agree judgment to file

My IP Relay: with the court along with the payment

My IP Relay: arrangement but the judgment would still be

My IP Relay: in place ga

MishRagsdale: I was told not with consent judgement

MishRagsdale: Are you aware of consent judgment right? ga

My IP Relay: are u

My IP Relay: talking about an agreed judgment

My IP Relay: qq ga

MishRagsdale: yes

MishRagsdale: is that the same thing as consent judgment

MishRagsdale: they said it will not be on credit report unless i default on payment

MishRagsdale: ga

My IP Relay: no it s not the same thing once

My IP Relay: a lawsuit is filed we are entitled

My IP Relay: to our judgment i can give michelle

My IP Relay: 30 days to pay in full to avoid the

My IP Relay: judgment to pay in full her balance to

My IP Relay: avoid the judgment but if she can t do that

My IP Relay: then the judgment would still be on file

My IP Relay: with the court as a public record

My IP Relay: ga

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Sorry I can't be of further assistance. I think what the atty is telling you is false BUT I'm not familiar with Georgia laws. In California, the only possible way to get a judgment 30 days after filing suit is by getting a default judgment, and even that's not a slam dunk. I think the lawyer is trying to take advantage of the fact that you are not familiar with the law and do not have representation. Like I said before, make sure you file an answer, and I recommend doing more reearch on the web AND seeking professional legal assistance.

Good luck though, and DON'T PANIC! Many of us have been in similar positions before, and have made it through.

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My IP Relay: no it s not the same thing once

My IP Relay: a lawsuit is filed we are entitled

My IP Relay: to our judgment

The above is untrue. Though you cant go after them over this since the conversation could be charaterized as settlement talks, that are not admissible as evidence of wrongdoing in court.

No, filing a lawsuit, they are NOT entitled to jack ****, only to have thier case heard by a court. If they can prove thier case, and a judge/jury agrees and finds for them and issues a JUDGEMENT, then and only then are they ENTITLED to anything.

I think you were being reasonable, offering to enter a CONSENT JUDGEMENT with them and a payment plan. They have refused. So be sure and tell that to the judge AFTER they succeed in proving thier case. The judge may setup the same payment plan you were willing to enter into anyways, whether the plaintiff likes it or not.

Since they appear to not be interested in being reasonable, you have to decide, either pay them (assuming they REALLY have a valid claim and are the party authorized to collect the debt.... you did DV them, etc, correct?) or force them to prove it in court and fight tooth/nail against thier effort.

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An update:

I spoke with the original creditor, the hospital's patient accounts department. They were only able to locate TWO outstanding accounts, one in my name for 74.21 and another in my daughter's name for 506.34 yet I am sued 1497.34 with the judgment of 1827.51. The 74.21 is set up to be paid in full on 24th of this month so that leaves me with 506.34 for my daughter. Where in the world did they come up with 1497.34 ??? I asked if they can research further in this and see if they can locate any more outstanding accounts. They said that is all they have.

Does this strike you as odd?

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Hi Mish,

Remember, lawyers and collections agencies’ biggest skill is to confuse and scare the BEEJEES out of people and hoping that you poor smucks don’t know the legal rules of collecting a debt and consumer’s rights.

You might want to check the "vacating judgment" self help here on the board, because you might need a discovery plan since the debt is not the same as the original creditor. This means they can not go after a debt that is not yours, you need to get more DETAILED ( itemized bill) info on this debt. Be sure and get the insurance info on what they were responsible for in paying this debt.

The board also has a new site for self help in going to court

You may also want to get the hospital to give you a copy of this outstanding debt that you got from them so you can compare the lawyer's suit for this debt he said you owe from the hospital minus his fees.

Remember, a judgment does not get placed on you until a court hearing happens when the judge looks at all the evidences and finds you liable for the debts. Once the judge finds you liable then the lawyer can come after you and demand the debt and his legal fees. However, the judge may also decide depending on he finds he may help you get a payment plan thru this consent judgment that you are talking about.

I am just wondering if you can avoid the judgment all together if the debt is paid by the 31 or sooner to the original creditor (Hospital) or the Mutual Hospital service (collection agency) with an agreement that this will never be reported as a judgment or a bad TL. You might want to go face to face with the billing department of that hospital and negotiate a deal with money on hand to give to them. If there is anyway you can pay 506 dollars to the hospital by borrowing from family, etc, it would be a heck of a lot better than having to deal with a court and this crummy crook of a lawyer.

(The hospital has collections agencies inside and outside and the collections agencies themselves also hire other collections agencies or lawyers to help them with collecting debts so it is not odd at all).

BTW you called the lawyer thru relay services… and not the MHS about the consenting judgment, he did not tell you the truth because he would loose out on the money he could get from you… Did you call the MHS and see if they would set up this plan to pay back the 506 dollars? Try and get this paid either payment plan or paid off with the hospital itself in writing…AND ANSWER THE SUMONS VIA CMR (green card) PRONTO BEFORE DEADLINE, TO COVER YOUR BOTTOM!

One more thing a judge would like nothing more then seeing that a debt has been resolved out of his court.

Hope this helps a bit.

Take care.

Suki

PS I love using the IP-Relay, I am deaf too, it comes in real handy when there is a doubt to what “they said”.;)

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