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  1. #1
    jongreg3 is offline Junior Member
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    Apr 2006
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    New Port Richey, FL
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    Unhappy Can a hospital take me for everything I have?

    What is the name of your state? FL

    Awhile back a collection agency sued me for unpaid hospital bills amounting around $7,000.00. I never had to money to pay it but the attorney scared me and so I agreed to pay $50.00 a month. After paying for a few months we ran into some financial trouble again and we couldn't pay much of anything. I forgot about it for a while and there were no more payment slips so I just let it go. The next thing I know I recieve a letter in the mail for a Final Judgement against me for a lot more money. They collected interest, I guess. My question is what can I do about this and how can a judge order this with out informing me prior to signing it? I don't think I will ever be able to get the money to pay it and if they put a lien on my house can they still collect interest, it could be years before I sold my house and that would really add up? Help!
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by jongreg3
    What is the name of your state? FL

    Awhile back a collection agency sued me for unpaid hospital bills amounting around $7,000.00. I never had to money to pay it but the attorney scared me and so I agreed to pay $50.00 a month. After paying for a few months we ran into some financial trouble again and we couldn't pay much of anything. I forgot about it for a while and there were no more payment slips so I just let it go. The next thing I know I recieve a letter in the mail for a Final Judgement against me for a lot more money. They collected interest, I guess. My question is what can I do about this and how can a judge order this with out informing me prior to signing it? I don't think I will ever be able to get the money to pay it and if they put a lien on my house can they still collect interest, it could be years before I sold my house and that would really add up? Help!
    You probably filed all the documents relating to the case in the same place you filed the payment slips...
    They obtained a default judgement. I am willing to bet that you were properly served.
    What does it really matter? If you can't pay your payments, then you can't pay a judgement. All this really means is that you will have to avoid having any sort of bank account...
  3. #3
    Chien is offline Senior Member
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    It looks to me as if there are two different issues:

    What can the judgment creditor do with a judgment: They can seize any and all non-exempt assets and they can and probably will put a lien on your real property. That lien will be effective for 10 years and can be renewed for 10 more, and the amount of the judgment will earn interest, as long as it remains.

    How can there be a judgment without you being informed: Your post doesn't give enough information to be able to answer that confidently about your case. As a general matter, you must be served with the Complaint against you and have the opportunity to defend yourself. If you're served and fail to respond, a default judgment can be entered against you without further notice to you. It is also possible that, when you agreed to make the monthly payments, you entered into a Stipulation for Payments and Judgment that allowed the attorney to request judgment when payments stopped. Again, additional notice does not have to be given to you.

    You say that you were sued. You must have received something to inform you of that fact. And you dealt with an attorney and made a payment agreement. Even if you signed no other document, they could have waited until you stopped making payments and then just defaulted you. If it really matters, you can go to the court and read the file, but I would suggest that it's more important to re-contact the attorney and see if a payment plan can be resumed. Without one, they may start enforcing judgment in ways that you only learn about after assets are taken. If you do get a new agreement, get it in writing and make sure that provides that there will be no involuntary enforcement as long as you keep your payment promises.
  4. #4
    jongreg3 is offline Junior Member
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    New Port Richey, FL
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    Question

    What do you mean avoid having a bank account? And if they got a defuault judgment does that mena that I would have had to been sserved like I was before , by the sheriff's office or was this all with the original agreement?
  5. #5
    Chien is offline Senior Member
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    Oct 2005
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    Q. What do you mean avoid having a bank account?

    A. With limited exceptions, the money in a bank account is normally non-exempt - which means that they can garnish and take it and apply it to the judgment.

    Q. And if they got a defuault judgment does that mena that I would have had to been sserved like I was before?

    A. To get a default judgment, you would have had to have been served at least once, unless you signed an agreement that allowed them to take judgment, if you stopped paying. It's hard to tell from your post, but it's beginning to sound as if you were served. Again, you can review the court file to satisfy yourself about the basis for the judgment.

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