If I have a writ of summons for a court date regarding a debt to a hospital that I cannot afford, should I appear?

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If I have a writ of summons for a court date regarding a debt to a hospital that I cannot afford, should I appear?

The court date is 7 days away. I contacted the lawyers representing the hospital and they could not tell me much. The total amount owed is about $1,300 but I don’t have anything extra right now. The structured payments ($275 for 5 months) would satisfy the debt and therefore cancel the court date but I don’t have even close to that. What should I do? What are the consequences if I don’t go?

Asked on January 10, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to attend the court date under the summons that was served upon you. If you fail to do so, most likely a default and default judgment will be entered against you. I suggest you attend the hearing and try your best to try and enter some settlement agreement where you pay the $1,300 over a longer period of time, for example 10 months or so.

If a default judgment is entered against you, the judgment creditor will then most likely try and levy upon your assets or garnish your wages if you cannot reach some sort of a monthly payment plan with the hospital.


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