I have a few judgments against me, I recently found out. All entered in absentia, none actually served. But in my home state, all it takes is an affidavit of service, and they can go into court. When you don’t show up because you were never actually served, they automatically win.
I would likely have lost those cases anyway. I’m sure i signed something that said i would pay them, and I’m sure what I signed was iron-clad and drawn up by very expensive attorneys.
I want to make clear, I do try to pay my bills for services rendered, but in each of these cases, the services were either not rendered, I met my obligations, or the services were rendered improperly. I will now take you through the stories of these judgments. I won’t name the plaintiff’s because my claims are nearly impossible to prove, but I’m sure it’s a matter of public record now, if you are bizarrely obsessed with finding out.
The gym membership:
I canceled that fucking thing a good month before my renewal. I was beginning to get sick all the time (not yet knowing why) so I just wasn’t going in as often. I wrote a letter. Not wanting to spend the money on Certified Return Receipt, I took it in and physically handed it to the receptionist. I realize now how stupid that was. I had changed bank accounts earlier, so I knew they couldn’t charge my card for the renewal anyway. I never thought they’d send it to collections, and that collection agency would sue, but they did. I was never served, didn’t know about the proceedings, and a judgment was entered. Credit score: Bad.
The hospital group:
Remember how I told you about me beginning to get sick all of the time? (It is right in the above paragraph, Mr. Short-Term Memory.) Well, do you also remember when I said I didn’t yet know why? This hospital group is the reason. I had this “doctor” (CNP, not that I have anything against nurses) who I would see every couple of weeks for a new sinus infection. She tried everything, (by everything, I mean writing a prescription for a Z-pack and kicking me out the door). When I went in due to the fatigue or lack of energy, she suggested allergies. When I pointed out the pitichea (tiny bruises), she suggested that I was stressed. When I complained about my frequent nosebleeds, she referred me to an ENT.
Do you know what she didn’t do?
She didn’t think to order a CBC. After two trips to the Emergency Room (same hospital group) to get my nose-packed because the super absorbent tampons shoved into my nostrils were soaking through too quickly, I searched online to figure out what may be going on.
Do you know all the jokes about WebMD telling you it’s cancer when you likely just have a cold? Well, sometimes when they tell you it’s cancer they’re right. They at least let me know that with my symptoms I should get a CBC.
So on my post-ER follow-up visit, I demanded a CBC (complete blood count, in case you were wondering). I had to argue for it. So reluctantly, my provider sent me to the LabCorp (scummy office used primarily for pre-employment drug screenings, that usually takes weeks to give results). This would be the provider, who is part of the hospital group, whose office just so happens to be located in the same lot as the hospital, with the lab.
Yeah, she’s not getting paid. Another unserved court date, another no-show, another judgment. Credit score: Awful.
The hospital group, again:
On one of the ER trips, I got an ER doc who decided my nose must be packed. Now this hurts for a normal person. For those of you who have never experienced this torture, it involves shoving a partially inflated balloon up to your brain through your nostril, then inflating it all the way to put even pressure all around the inside of your nose in order to stop the bleeding, as well to hold it in. Then there is a little air tube hanging out of your nose that gets taped to your face.
The ER doctor I got, first successfully slowed, & almost stopped the bleeding with noseclamps and a spray. But since it was still trickling and was so bad, she decided to pack it. What she did not do was first look up my nose for the path.
Turns out, I have a deviated septum. How do I know this? Because she told me after apologizing for not looking for it first and putting me through unnecessary pain.
Not paying for that. If I wanted to pay to be tortured, I’d hire a dominatrix. Another unserved court-date, another no-show, another judgment. Credit score: What credit score?
The ER Physicians Group:
I was a bit of a hothead. I know that legally I was obligated to pay these people before it got to this point. But I think there should be a legal obligation for then to do their fucking jobs properly if they are going to charge you.
There are two bright-sides to this little tale though.
1. I’m not too concerned about identity theft. (At least for credit reasons, though the Anthem hack has me worried for other reasons.)
2. They can’t garnish my disability payments.
It will be awful once (if ever) I am able to work again, and I have to give up my entire check to them, but I must admit that I take some satisfaction in the knowledge they have to wait longer to get their dirty money.