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Medical bills, answering a summons

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I read through the posting guidelines for something like this, so here goes...

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? SJMC Hospital (not a collections agency)

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? Law firm in Lansing, MI

3. How much are you being sued for? $1800

4. Who is the original creditor? Plaintiff is OC

5. How do you know you are being sued? Served

6. How were you served? In person

7. Was the service legal as required by your state? I believe so

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? For 5 months I had a payment plan in place with their collections arm. I stopped the payment plan (with their permission) to overcome a reduction in income, increased expenses and an unexpected IRS bill. The plan stoppage was understood to be temporary, though admittedly it's been 6 months since I last paid and things have only gotten worse.

9. What state and county do you live in? Livingston County, MI

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? February, 2012

11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: N/A

12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) calling the court or B) looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name). Served, received summons and complaint.

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) Partially.

14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request, don't bother doing this now - it's too late. Yes.

15. How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit? I have 10 days. I've never been sued before, so right after service I set the summons aside because the first date I saw on the paperwork was that the summons expired at the end of October. Fortunately I looked it up a little later and found I only have 21 days. I did not receive a questionnaire with the lawsuit.

16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. The evidence I received was an itemization of accounts that had my name, account number, service date and amount owed. It isn't really on letterhead, just the hospital's name printed in the same font/point size as everything else. In the complaint they state there is exhibit B, which is supposed to be an affidavit, but the only other thing attached is a notarized statement from the attorney that says I'm "justly indebted upon open account to the Plaintiff..." It is written as if the attorney says I'm indebted, not the hospital.

The complaint reads like this...

1. Plaintiff sold and delivered certain goods to defendant or performed certain services for defendant upon open account, upon the promise of the defendant to pay for same.

2. There is now due and unpaid upon said account the principal sum of $1800

3. The account has become stated between the parties as shown by a copy of said account attached hereto as Plaintiff's Exhibit A. Also attached hereto as Plaintiff's Exhibit B is an Affidavit verifying said account.

4. Although demand has been made, Defendant has failed and neglected to satisfy the indebtedness presently due.

Wherefore, Plaintiff requests entry of judgment against the defendant(s) in the principal amount of $1800 plus court costs and statutory attorney fees.


So what is the best way to answer this? I spoke with an attorney briefly on this today (not sure it make sense to hire one) and he said deny everything and let it go to court. I'm afraid of owing a whole lot more than this original $1800 if I do that?

Thank you in advance for all your help!! This forum has served a lot of interesting information up to this point.

Edited by Ella01
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