Non-profit hospitals are exempt from state, municipal and federal income taxes. They also provide benefits to the community, like free medical care for low-income patients for a fee. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis has filed over 8,300 claims for medical bills that were not paid within just five years.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – In July 2007 Carrie Barrett went to Methodist University Hospital’s emergency department complaining of breathlessness and chest pain. Afterward, she realized she noticed her leg had become swelling and her toes became black.
The doctors performed a cardiac catheterization for her, putting a long tubing through her stomach, and into her heart due her family history, her high blood pressure as well as a diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure.
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The total expense for her two-night stay was $11,019.
Barrett has never been paid more than $12 per hour. She is not aware of receiving any reminders to pay by the hospital. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, in contrast has sued Barrett in 2010 over unpaid medical expenses along with attorney’s fees and court costs.
Since since then the United Methodist Church-affiliated nonprofit hospital system has continuously pursued her, increasing the interest on this debt 7 times over and taking money from her earnings 15 times.
According to her tax returns, Barrett, 63, currently owes around $33,000 in taxes. This is more than double the amount she earned last year.
“The only thing that kept me sane was praying and begging God for assistance,” she added.
She is among the thousands of patients the hospital has sued over not paying medical bills. According to an analysis by MLK50 ProPublica of Shelby County General Sessions Court information, Methodist filed more than 8,300 lawsuits between 2014 and 2018. Barrett’s lawsuit, which dates over a decade remains in the court’s docket.
Some hospitals also are suing their patients in Memphis and throughout the United States. Researchers found more than 20,000 debt-related lawsuits that were filed from Virginia hospital in the year 2017 according to a report that was published on Tuesday within The Journal of the American Medical Association. The year 2017 saw more than 9,300 garnishment of wages instances, with hospitals with no-profit status more likely to take action.
On the other hand methodsists’ savage collection techniques are evident in cities where a quarter of the population is living in poverty.
The approach it takes to patients who are struggling begins with a financial aid program that, in contrast to most of its counterparts across the country, focuses on patients who have any kind coverage, no matter the their out-of-pocket payment. If patients cannot pay their medical bills then they’ll be sent to a collection agency licensed by the hospital. that is run by the hospital that’s according to experts is unique.
There are also lawsuits. After obtaining an order the hospital will attempt to slash the earnings of patients significantly more often than other Memphis non-profit hospitals.
Methodist has filed lawsuits against hundreds of its employees over unpaid medical bills from 2014 and even one hospital janitor who filed a lawsuit for more than $23,000 in 2017. She claimed she made $16,000 in 2017. Methodist has taken the earnings of over 70 other employees to pay the medical expenses of its employees.
Local, state as well as federal taxation are usually not included in non-profit hospitals. In return the federal government is requesting the hospitals to provide back to the community through financial aid and charitable care.
Methodist does offer some charitable treatments — the annual community benefits are thought to be greater than $226 million. But experts have criticised it for making use of the court as an hammer.
“You should sue Warren Buffett if he comes in and requires a heart valve treatment and then stiffs the hospital,” said John Colombo, a University of Illinois College of Law professor emeritus who been a witness before Congress regarding the tax-exempt status of hospitals that are nonprofit. “I can’t see a circumstance where thousands of your patients would fall into that category.”
Bon Secours Hospitals in Virginia that stopped seeking debt-related lawsuits in 2007 along with The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center comprising more than 20 hospitals as well as two hospitals that are non-profit which do not see patients in any way.
The relatives of Methodist Hospital do not sue patients or health facilities that are affiliated to their United Methodist Church. Methodist Health System, which includes four hospitals in the Dallas region is a prime illustration. “At no point will Houston Methodist pursue unusual collection proceedings such as wage garnishments,” foreclosures on homes or credit bureau notices” in line with the policy for collection of the seven hospitals of the Houston Methodist system.
Through email an email, a Houston Methodist representative stated, “We are a faith-based institution, and we don’t feel employing exceptional actions to collect bill payments is compatible with our purpose and beliefs.”
Methodist Le Bonheur, which claims to be the second-largest private employer, boasts of its commitment to the “culture of compassion” on its website. Fortune magazine also ranked the hospital as one of the top 100 companies to Work For last year.
Methodist declined numerous requests to speak with its top members.
“Outstanding patient debts are only transferred to collections and subsequently to court as a very last option, and only after persistent attempts to negotiate with the patients have been exhausted,” the company wrote in its statement.
“We are committed to delivering great treatment to all people of the community, regardless of their financial situation.”
Methodists’ efforts to collect money are located in the nation’s second poorest significant metropolitan region, one in which low-wage jobs like warehousing, and logistics have always been the most popular work. According to a recent economic development study 40 percent of Memphis workers are paid less than $15 per hour.
MLK50 along with ProPublica will be spending the rest of the year examining the ways in which businesses, hospitals and other organizations in Memphis make it nearly impossible for workers with low incomes to survive.
Beverly Robertson, a member of Methodist’s board of directors from 2003 until 2012, claimed to be amazed to learn about the tactics used by the hospital to gather data from a news reporter. She said she was not aware of the lawsuits brought by patients throughout her time as a member of the board.
Robertson is the president and chief executive officer of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce and the former director for the National Civil Rights Museum, said, “I wish I’d known some of this.”
The General Sessions Court’s Rhythm
Barrett attended Shelby County General Sessions Court on Jan. 16 to prevent Methodist from taking her salary from her part-time position at Kroger which pays her $9.05 an hour.
Methodist has filed the entire of the 80 instances in the Division 5 docket that morning and she had lots of work to do.
Barrett was slated to face Justice Betty Thomas Moore this morning Judge Betty Thomas Moore has been in the bench for more than 21 years. Moore went through the proceedings and stopped frequently to talk with defendants or provide them with financial advice as well as ask Methodist’s lawyers for what the value of judgment or the monthly installment they’d be making.
Barrett an obedient lady who doesn’t wear any makeup or jewelry due to her religious beliefs, was present up when Moore called her name.
She waited as the judge looked over her file, that contained a written record of the trial as well as the request she submitted to resume her monthly payment of $40. In spite of the judge’s approval, Barrett had ceased paying charges after she was fired from her job in the past two years.
Barrett was affidavit-signed by Barrett of her income and property that outlined the names of her children, their bank accounts balances and assets, as well as debts and monthly expenses. Barrett stated that she had just $20 in her account at the bank. Her monthly earnings were $750 and her monthly expenses were about twice that.
The amount owed to the hospital attracted the attention of the judge.
“It’s over a $30,000 sum,” Moore stated in shock. “It’s more than doubled.”
Barrett had paid her bills on a regular basis but they were eclipsed by the enormous amount of interest piled onto her account.
Barrett tried to explain to the court that she wasn’t willing to pay, but she was unable to. She was forced to leave work to take care of her sister who died in November from cancer.
“You’ve got to pay,” Moore stated in a smug manner. Shetoo is a Christian and frequently thank God for her rise from humble beginnings within South Memphis to elected leadership from the bench. Barrett began to inform the court she was able to pay her bills more regularly after she got the job she wanted but Moore was able to stop her.
“That’s something I’m not willing to know. You’ve made your fourth time to do it. You did not show up! Moore stated that Barrett coughed, and then explained his anxious reaction.
Moore angry, he replied, “Have a seat, ma’am.” “Let me think about it for a second.”
Many lawsuits and garnishments’ were filed.
From 2014 to 2018 credit card companies, debt collectors, companies, and hospitals filed more than 163,000 instances of debt within the Shelby County General Sessions Court.
Midland Funding, which acquires delinquent debt, was the sole plaintiff to file the most lawsuits in comparison to Methodist. (Midland has not responded to requests for information.)
Methodist submitted more than 8,300 claim, as opposed the Baptist Memorial Health care’s 6700, and the Regional One Health, the county’s public hospital, which submitted more than 1,900. Families do not pay for treatments that is not covered by insurance St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital that is located in Memphis.
Methodist is the top-performing company in the market, in terms of revenue, with $2.1 billion in revenue . It is an entire health system comprising six hospitals. According to data that is publicly available and analyzed by Definitive Healthcare, it had the highest number of patients discharged per year and the highest profits per patient in the year 2017. Methodist includes “hospitals in all four quadrants of the greater Memphis area, unequaled by any other healthcare provider in our region,” in addition to more than 150 clinics, outpatient facilities and physician offices according to the firm.
Comparatively with Baptist as well as Regional One, the number of lawsuits brought by Methodists isn’t disproportionate to the size of its caseload. However, the proportion of cases where they seek the garnishment of wages that can totally alter the lives of defendants with low wages is a distinct feature.
A court-ordered garnishment requires the debtor’s employer to pay the court 25 percent of the debtor’s post-tax earnings, minus essential expenses for living, and an enlightened reduction for minors who are under the age of 15. The funds are then transferred to the creditor by court.
According to an analysis of court records from MLK50 as well as ProPublica, Methodist obtained garnishment orders in 46 percent of the cases that were filed between 2014 and 2018 as compared to just the 36 percent of cases filed at Regional One and 20 percent at Baptist. It’s not clear what is the reason for the disparity.
Jenifer Bosco, an employee counsellor in the National Consumer Law Center, an organization that concentrates on consumer law issues for those with low incomes and others who are disadvantaged she said that using an attorney to pay off the debt is an option, not a necessity. Bosco said the fact that “many medical bills are merely handled via the collections procedure.” “Some people indeed wind up in court, but it seems that this institution is particularly aggressive.”
The Methodists’ Unwavering Pursuit of the Poor
Barrett has only worked in low-paying jobs, like cleaning medical offices or sorting out packages at FedEx’s hub, which is the largest distribution center of the company.
On the contrary, Methodist has been on Barrett’s trail for nine years, chasing her from one low-wage position from one low-wage job to another.
Methodists, as with other creditors, have to overcome two hurdles to be able to properly garnish the wages of debtors. First, the hospital has to be aware of where the employee is employed as garnishment demands the cooperation of the employer.
The debtor then must earn enough after-tax money to be eligible for the law’s exemption to earnings that protects $217.50 per week of tax-free income , which is equivalent to 30 hours of an hourly rate of the minimum federal wage, which is $7.25 an hour.
Barrett’s work place was initially unknown for the medical staff. The hospital tried garnishment at FedEx as well as Sodexo the company that provides cleaning and other services for companies but then realized that Barrett was not employed there in many years.
Barrett began working in T.J.Maxx in September of 2011, tagging clothes for clearance racks. Methodist requested a garnishment at her place of work but was faced with an additional issue in that she did not earn enough to be eligible to have her earnings withheld.
Barrett’s salary was garnished several times in the following seven years. The hospital. The company was earning $3.67. T.J.Maxx issued the garnishment request with the note “Net Earnings Less Than Exemptions.”
Although the law of the state protects most vulnerable people from garnishment of their wages However, creditors are still able to charge interest on the debt amount.
Barrett is 63 and is preparing to start work at Kroger at night. When Barrett arrives at the store his boss will expect him to dress in his uniform. (For MLK50, Andrea Morales)
Although Methodist knew that Barrett as a wage-strapped employee this accrued interest to the account of her seven times over, between $46 and $7,340.
As per Fred Morton, a former pastor at Christ United Methodist Church in East Memphis, charging so much attention to a poor person would be “unconscionable.”
“It’s a 21st-century version of slavery,” said Morton whom is on the MICAH’s Economic Justice Committee. “That’s the type of debt I’m talking about. … I find that repulsive.”
Barrett was living with a fellow friend and her mom, who are both amputees as a condition of a room to live in 2017.
Barrett made a formal request to stop the garnishment of wages in April of the year. She offered to pay her $40 per month. Her monthly earnings totaled 800 dollars. The court was informed of her income.
The judge subsequently ruled that Barrett’s sister who was single and no children of her own, was sick. Barrett was in debt on her obligations after she quit taking care of her.
“To make those payments, I went and borrowed money via those payday loans,” she told me. “For me, it was simply a fight.”
She is required to pay $60 every 30 days to keep the loan to $300, which has an effective annual at around 240 .
Is Financial Aid Required, but Is It Available?
The former president’s main health law, known as the Affordable Health Care Act is most well-known for its expansion of the coverage of health insurance. It did set additional requirements for nonprofit hospitals, including having policies for charity care and making them available to patients.
Based on MLK50-ProPublica’s analysis of policies in Tennessee non-profit hospitals The guidelines don’t stipulate how generous the policies should be. Methodist ranks among those most efficient in the state.
As per Michele Johnson, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, which advocates for better access to healthcare Methodist’s financial assistance policy is outdated.
“The Methodist regulations were developed at a period when there was not a plague of uninsured persons in the state,” Johnson declared. “Reality has altered at a quicker rate than their policies.”
Methodist announced that it offers the 0% interest-free payment plan to insured and uninsured patients who are having difficulty paying their bills however, only if legal action is initiated. Methodist also announced that it gives 70% discounts for those who are uninsured. It also provides free treatment to those who earn less than 130 percent from the poverty line which is about 15600 for an adult. Discounts are also offered for patients without insurance who earn more than this but are less than the poverty threshold.
“We will assist those who are suffering financial strain due to medical expenses. The hospital said in a statement “our mission is to partner with patients at the beginning of the process of establishing the best payment plan for the specific needs of each patient.”
However, the claims of the hospital do not match the words of its billing, financial aid and collection policies, and also the frequent billing questions found on their website. There isn’t any mention of interest-free payments in any of these policies.
Methodist is, along with its colleagues receives financial aid through the state of Tennessee to assist in reducing the cost of providing unpaid medical care. The state of Tennessee contributed over $31 million to eligible hospitals during the first three months of 2019. In a quarterly report that was presented before lawmakers at the Tennessee General Assembly, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare’s hospitals were awarded more than $5 million.
For a long time, hospitals that are not for profit that have been sued by hundreds of patients have been the focus of congressional hearings and investigations.
Mosaic Life Care (previously Heartland Regional Medical Center) in Missouri filed more than 11,000 lawsuits over five years, as per an article from 2013 ProPublica article. Mosaic changed its financial aid policies and eliminated approximately $17 million of patient debt in response to the report as well as the Senate investigation led by Senator. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
While a myriad of other hospitals offer free or reduced treatment for people with low and moderate incomes regardless of their insurance health status Methodist isn’t.
This is particularly problematic for those with higher-deductible insurance policies for health. The IRS determines the higher deductibles than 1300 for an individual and greater than $2700 for a family. According to a study from 2018 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the amount of people who have high-deductible health insurance through their employers nearly doubled between 2007 and 2017.
Insurance companies must use Methodist to pay deductibles and copayments, according to Methodist. “We recognize some insured patients have hefty copays and deductibles that create a financial strain on the patient,” Methodist said. We will partner with patients who need help as a mission-driven business.”
The doctor. Mark Laney, president and CEO of Mosaic Dr. Mark Laney, Mosaic’s president and CEO, told that the St. Joseph News-Press at the time “We were doing the medically appropriate thing for the individual, but on the financial responsibility component, we were doing the wrong thing.”
In an op-ed published in September 2017 in the news website Stat, Grassley said that the use of aggressive methods to collect debt is “contrary to the principle of tax exemption.”
“These institutions seem to overlook the fact that tax exemption is a luxury, not a right. They deny low-income patients financial aid while paying top executives compensation comparable to its for-profit rivals.”
A Defendant is Sent in Circles by a Methodist
As per the Debt in America research produced by the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, medical debt is prevalent across the country. However, it is a problem for non-white residents and people living within the South the most.
Within Shelby County, nonwhite citizens were twice as likely to have medical debts in collections than residents of white 23 percent vs. 11 .
More than half the residents of the county comprise African Americans, and a reporter at the court this year witnessed more than 90 percent of Methodist’s defendants represent African Americans.
Nelson’s health insurance plan through her employer provided the majority of her hospital hysterectomy cost in 2016. However, she has to pay $2,200.
Nelson wasn’t the first person to be arrested for the crime. Methodist filed a lawsuit against Nelson in 2013, seeking $850 of medical bills that she had not paid for her adult children. Baptist filed a lawsuit against her for $5,000 in 2013 following an overnight hospitalization for chest issues. (She is able to make a monthly payment of $50.
Nelson 43-year-old Nelson claims she has no regrets about her decision to pursue a career in social work despite the fact that her master’s and bachelor’s degrees have led to $100,000 of student debt that she’s deferred.
The prescriptions for chronic diseases like hypothyroidism as well as the consumables needed for sleep apnea devices will cost you more than $200 each month.
Nelson will pay only enough on her electric bill to ensure that the lights are on when she’s on a tight budget. In June, her electric bill was greater than $500, and she had the balance due to be paid in full of $200.
She isn’t able to bear the thought of writing down a budget. “If I do, it’ll be terrifying because I’ll be wondering to myself, ‘How am I ever going to survive?'” ‘”
On December. 4 the process server handed her the summons, stating that she was being threatened with a lawsuit by Methodist and also the card for calling Consolidated Recovery Systems, a division of Revenue Assurance Professionals, Methodist’s authorized debt collection agency. She contacted the hospital’s collection company and was told she could be in court if she failed to pay the $175 each month.
In the end, Nelson took to court and demanded that the hospital provide her with an itemized statement that would prove that the debt was hers.
Then, in April of this year, she returned to court, confessed that she was the one who owed it and the following week , filed a demand to pay $75 per month, which is exactly the same amount as she had paid the agency that collected.
Nelson was in court once more in May, before the judge John Donald. As Judge John Donald was rushing through the case she said, “I’m nervous.”
The judge read her name and she jumped up. Donald sought out Methodist’s lawyer about an installment of $75 per month.
Dewun Settle, one of two lawyers employed by Methodist to represent Hospital in the courtroom said, “That’s good, your honor.”
Donald smiled and waved Nelson towards the door, and then said, “You’re free to leave.”
Nelson estimated her expenses outside of the courtroom, which include days off at work, parking charges for three court appearances and a filing fee, all to get Methodist’s attorneys to accept the same monthly payment that the hospital’s collection agency refused to accept.
“They were just greedy,” she added.
A Recognized Rhythm
The two lawyers of Methodist manage the lawsuits. The judge is given these cases through Settle. R. Alan Pritchard alternates between the courtroom and the corridor where he meets with defendants regarding the payment alternatives. Prior to court costs and interest attorney’s fees are added 33% of the initial hospital bill in every instance making a $2,000 charge to a $2,660 suit.
The defendants are bound by rulings of the judges over months, years and sometimes even for years. However, Settle doesn’t have to declare anything to convince the judge feel that the hospital’s authority is hefty.
If the defendant asks for more than the defendant provided, the courts almost always support the defendant.
Judge Deborah Henderson was unconvinced when an employee of a charter school said that she was unable the cost of paying more than 40 dollars per month due to the cost of college as well as caring for her mother, who was a senior citizen.
“It’s good that you’re assisting your handicapped mother,” Henderson said, “but there’s a distinction between a moral and a legal obligation.” “You have a legal duty to pay this debt,” she said before directing instructors to contribute the $75 per month.
The defendant cried when she left the courtroom.
Methodist typically seeks more when a defendant is in compliance with an order of the court and is able to pay the agreed amount on time.
This happened in April to an FedEx worker and mother of 2, who was taken to the court by a hospital.
According to court records, she paid the $50 installments each month in time for the prior year. In a declaration written by her that explains her circumstances the monthly expenses were more than $170.
The materials were in the hands the judge Lonnie Thompson whom he was appointed in 1998 when he heard Settle argue that the mother’s rights should be protected and she should be paid more.
“She pays on time,” Settle acknowledged. “We’re looking for a $100 boost every month to keep the amount from rising.”
In the month of September, the institution increased its contribution to the amount owed by the defendant and has increased it to over $7,000.
Thompson turned his attention at the defendant. “Are you willing to spend $75?” “
“Right now, my home is under foreclosure,” she declared.
Thompson forced her to do something and she was irritated.
The defendant stated, “I can’t agree to it if I can’t pay.”
“You have to pay it if I sign the order,” Thompson responded angrily.
She replied, “I mean, I don’t have it to pay.”
Thompson eventually caved in and accepted to continue to pay $50 per month. Thompson declared bankruptcy three weeks after.
Methodist was referred to for questions from Pritchard as well as Settle. Henderson as well as Thompson were not able to respond to requests for comments via emails.
If the defendant is represented by an attorney, they can bargain a reduction for the amount of the debtor’s attorney’s fees.
Without representation from a lawyer defendants are forced to navigate the system by themselves and often get poor outcomes. If a judge asked if any of the defendants had an attorney, she pointed out Pritchard who nodded his head.
One defense lawyer was assigned to a defendant from the 80 cases in the docket in January. 16.
The judge as well as the court officials are not able to give legal guidance.
“I was telling my daughter,” Barrett remembers, “and she said, ‘You need to speak to someone.'” “When you’re the only sole support in your home, you can’t simply take off days,” Barrett explained in reference to a free legal clinic offered through Memphis Area Legal Services.
If it is the case that Tennessee Justice Center receives a phone call from someone who’s suffering from medical debts, Johnson or her team will call the hospital’s contacts.
“We’ll say, ‘This is a very tragic tale,’ and they’ll often simply write the bill off,” she explained. “I’m not sure whether it’s because they know we know how to get in touch with the media, but we don’t necessarily threaten them.” They do, however, often appear on news programs.”
The Law is my stymie.
Moore was a public defender who handled capital cases prior to running in the race for Shelby County General Sessions Court judge in 1998. She was feeling tired, but did not want to leave the government.
She was elected and the subsequent ones.
Moore and her lawyers Settle and Pritchard enjoys a great relationship with lawyers Settle and Pritchard. When dealing with defendants, she tries to keep a spirited but friendly tone.
In May, she appeared before the courtroom packed with defendants who were in their shoes, being sued by creditors and seeing her earnings being garnished.
Moore said it occurred in the 80s, when she was an attorney in her early 20s at the Public Defender’s department, at an in-person interview with her chambers.
“I had a spouse who left me with the kids, stopped paying child support, and kept the whole thing going.” “I struggled,” she told me.
She declared her bankrupt.
Her kindness is apparent on her Facebook page where she has shared her experiences about a subprime auto lender as well as an essay on the unstable nature of poverty.
In the past, she took her position after she was informed of instances involving lenders for vehicles that were charging what she thought to be excessive interest rates.
“I’d cross it out and say ’32 percent?'” “That is unconscionable.’ That is the legal term for ‘I ain’t doing it,'” she stated.
The attorneys representing the creditors replied by sending letters informing her of their rights under law to apply the contractual interest rate.
Moore claimed she won’tshe will not be deceived by the comparative power in the case of both parties, particularly when the plaintiff has a vast health insurance company that is a lucrative one as well as the defendants usually in need of legal assistance and are unable to afford it. “Once you start considering it in, you’re prejudiced.”
Moore was the judge for the mother of three who owes her more than $3000 in April. The defendant offered to pay $30 per month on her petition for delayed pay.
Moore changed his focus towards Settle. “Can you tell me what you’re looking for on that?” ” she asked.
Settle responded, “At least $200 per month.”
The defendant employee, who works in a warehouse declared, “I can’t do $200.”
Moore followed up with an affidavit of income statement and property statement. With a salary that was $2,000 per month, her mother had with a debt of $1300.
Moore concentrated on the defendant’s substantial allowance for clothing and food and also her three sons aged (11 17 and 19). Moore explained that they were old enough to put in a sacrifice in order for their mother to spend more.
The mother claims that the 11-year-old child is autistic, mute, and wears diapers, and eats pureed food. Moore acknowledged that an elderly family member was following a similar food regimen, yet she was unable to grant the defendant a break.
“Even with what you told me,” she said before obtaining a court order that required for the accused to cover $130 every month.
An Shelby County Schools kindergarten teacher appeared in court that same morning Barrett and Nelson took on a debt of $6,800.
Settle demanded a monthly installment of $140. The teacher countered with a monthly fee of $50, however, the judge was offended.
Moore declared, “I won’t even contemplate it.” Moore disrupted the husband of the teacher who had been accompanying the wife on a trip to the court.
Moore laughed, “You married a grown-up lady.”
The instructor commented, “Please don’t curse.”
“Please accept my apologies,” Moore said quickly. “It’s simply annoying.”
The prayer taped on the door inside the chambers of the judge beginning with “Help me to treat people today as I want to be treated.”
She says she reads it each when she sits at the table.
“I want to do and say what is proper and agreeable to God,” she declared, “because these people, honey, they’ll make you want to swear.”
Debt She’ll Have to Pay Until She Dies.
After having heard the rest of the docket cases on January 1, Moore called Barrett’s name once more.
Barrett rose she rose, and Settle asked the court to make her monthly payments of $100.
Barrett’s motion was denied by the judge to make a payment of $40 per month.
Moore spoke up with a sharp tone, “This is going to be my last time putting this up.” “You’re going to be paying for this for a long time.”
Barrett was still concerned about the outcome a few several months after the fact.
“Why do you believe I can pay $100 if you know I can’t pay $40?”
She would have explained to the court that she had been always late with the utility bills and was forced to allow her auto insurance to go since she was unable to pay it. “She utters the statement in seconds. It was only a matter of shifting them in and out. They don’t have empathy for other people.”
Barrett paid her bills in time during the months of February through May, cutting back on other expenses and relieving heavily on payday loans. However, she did not complete her payments on time in the month of May.
Barrett will be able to pay off her debt in 335 months provided that Methodist doesn’t charge her interest, and she pays the amount as instructed.
She’ll turn ninety.
Barrett presented her 2018 tax return just a few days following her appearance in court.
The amount she was paid was $13,800.
“It’s now in God’s hands,” she said. “I’m only capable of so much.”