Zionsville Attorney Takes Advantage of Mother with Sick Child
Posted in the Westfield Forum
#1 Feb 15, 2013
Derek F Johnson made a mother whose son has been seeing an Oncologist pay over $500.00 in attorney fees on a small claims judgment for a medical bill that was $397.00.
The mother begged this attorney to waive his fees and he still stuck the mother with an additional fees. Mother stated the Atty Derek F Johnson lied to the Judge in open court regarding a previous arrangement made with the attorney to pay the bill. The mother told this story this morning at a cancer support group as she sobbed uncontrollably. Thumbs down to the attorneys and the Judge.
#2 Feb 20, 2013
Thumbs down to Attorneys Jacob, Hammerle, and Johnson of Zionsville, Indiana. Derek F. Johnson made a mother whose son has been seeing an Oncologist pay over $500.00 in attorney fees on a small claims judgment for a medical bill that was approx.$400.00.
The mother begged this attorney to waive his fees and he still stuck the mother with an additional fees. Mother stated the Atty Derek Johnson bold faced lied to the Judge in open court at the initial hearing.
She told this story this morning at a cancer support group as she sobbed uncontrollably.
Thumbs down to this blood sucking attorney. I can't wait to tell this mothers story at the next Relay for Life.
Every court should be video taped and every court needs to be recorded. These blood suckers need to file in the township the respondent lives and not in the township where their 'favorite' Judge presides. If you pull Decatur Township small claims, you'll find an off balanced decisions by the Judge for the attorney. I wonder why this attorney only files in Decatur when he practices in Zionsville. Seems he's taking advantage of the lack of public transportation for the people he's suing. I'm sure there is a closer Small Claims Court. Derek Johnson owes this woman an apology and her money. Who does this to a woman already going through extreme duress? Says a lot about who this attorney and his firm really is. Karma may be the only amends for this....attorney. THIS IS WHY OUR SOCIETY HAS FALLEN TO SHIT.
#4 May 16, 2013
Small Claims: Big Injustice
WTHR Channel 13 - Indianapolis, Indiana
WTHR's Sandra Chapman Investigates
Attorney Derek F Johnson, Decatur Township Small Claims, and Judge Myron Hockman.
#5 Jun 5, 2013
Derek lied in open court on me as well. One of many untruths was stating that I did not have an agreement with Community Hospital that I did have. Thank God Community had sent a copy of that agreement to me that I happened to have with me. I too called Johnson's office and begged him to look at my payments and let me pay rather than go to court. Barbara was ruthless and would not even consider it. I obtained an attorney but Johnson continued to be uncooperative and untruthful about the payments I made. Barbara still called my phone after I obtained counsel and told me that I did not have an attorney. In the end, I too was still stuck with $450 in attorney fee's plus fees and court cost. My total bill was $192.60 before Johnson and almost $800 after. My bill was from my daughter collapsing at the county fair. I started out owing $1,200 and paid it down as agreed to $192.60... now I'm almost starting over with the payments. Very Sad.
#6 Jul 12, 2013
The "money-grab" scheme highlighted by WTHR is also being followed rampantly by Deca Financial Services, LLC, of Fishers, Indiana.
They are a licensed debt collector, whose collection process is carefully engineered to "minimize the chance of collecting debt", so that they can wait one year, and then take their clients to court.
They send you exactly ONE friendly notice in the mail, for "validation of debt". This note is:(a) not marked "final notice", and (b) implies no consequences for not responding to this one note. They send ZERO additional notices. After a year, they take their clients to small claims, and tack on $467 in legal fees and court costs.
All reputable/ethical debt collectors send follow-up notices, to ensure you are aware of the debt. And their "final notices" are marked clearly as such.
It's a shame that Deca are currently associated with reputable/ethical businesses such as emergency room physicians.
Of all the debt collection agencies I've ever dealt with, never before have I encountered such unethical practices as followed by Deca.
Deca has filed similar suit against over 1000 other defendants here in Indiana this summer. I have contacted a random sample of a dozen defendants, and nearly all of them were unaware of the debt, since they believed that the Emergency Physician bill was consolidated into the bill for the emergency room.
With Deca's negligent process, this confusion is a common (and purposeful) occurrence. It feeds Deca's primary interest, which is to take clients to court, and tack on their *internal* legal fee!
My $156 bill, quadrupled to $677, without providing me customary notices to ensure my awareness of the bill, and that it was *not* consolidated into the emergency room bill. Had they sent one additional note, we would have realized that this bill was not consolidated, and settle it.
It sounds like Derek Johnson has similar motives. I wonder if Med-Shield still uses Derek, and wonder if there is some sort of kickback to Med-Shield (i.e. wouldn't they want to share in the spoils? Why should Derek alone make all the money off of their clients?).
Our intent should be to notify the "reputable" companies that are currently using these unethical debt collectors, to make them aware of the behavior, and coax them to switch over to an ethical collector.
There are many ethical collectors to choose from! Harris & Harris (handles IU Health and Riley Hosp.), and Allied Collections both come to mind.
I am aiming to work with WTHR and Sandra Chapman to help produce the next chapter in their investigative series, which may make specific mention of Deca.
Here are 3 stories already published by WTHR:
#7 Jul 21, 2013
My bill was 2200 and i called to see how much i owed on it . Barbra told me $311. Dollars and so much change so i paid it snd they are still taking it out of my check they have taking out 2800.00 dollars and taking more cant call him every time i call disconntected number
#8 Jan 22, 2014
Yeah I'm well aware is this corrupt attorney now. Just received filing of medical debt and his fees are double the cost of the bill itself! I called to see if I could settle out of court, since court isn't until February, and was told "no". When I showed irritability about the fees, receptionist was extremely unfriendly and had no sympathy for those of us who are trying to survive on one income with four Dependants. One of which is my sick father! It's sickening and he should be looked into by high authority.
#9 Jan 22, 2014
Not to mention the court papers that were delivered to me show NO attorney fees! They should have to include those fees in the legal paperwork filled by the court!
#10 Apr 16, 2014
Yes I paid deca 839.30 in feb. And was told I would receive an email stating I paid it along with a mailed letter to my house and was also told it would be taken off my credit report with in 30 to 45 days I have been calling them for 2 months and still have received nothing and it is still on my credit report after 45 day and still no letter or email. I also called the place that sent it to deca and I let them know I paid deca and what was going on and asked them if they received there money they told me no.I told them I paid deca in febuary. So what is going to happen now I dont have money just to give away I have 3 young children to raise and trying to find a new house but I can't because I have this stuck on my credit report and it has been paid in full.
#11 Feb 10, 2015
Don't worry about small claims court. If you lose, file an appeal and it will end up on superior court docket . Attorneys cannot get their fees paid in this court. It will cost about $140 to send it up but well worth it. Stick it back to the corrupt attorney. In most cases, it would cost them more to litigate than the actual debt.
#12 Nov 3, 2016
You can ask Judge to waive the court fee. They will give you a paperwork to fill out about a budget that you have to pay. Judge will look at it on his time and see if they approval. I got notification from Federal express from Zionsville, In, I hope it not from Attorneys Jacob, Hammerle, and Johnson of Zionsville. We have a medical debt issue due to my wife mental illness force by police to get the evaluation and stay there for inpatient for two weeks. So If I get those from them, I will find community lawyer to help me file bankrupt with other debt collection that I got job layoff when the USA economy almost crash back in (2009, I believe). But debt collection waits until almost seven years and file me a small claim court. Of course, the lawyers won, and they keep update my credit report every month. I was hoping seven years pass, that I don't have to pay. Even though, I did change my phone number without notification like you number is changed to xxx-xxx-xxxx. And I move new place and mail forward to my friend house. and whoever knocking the door who looking for me and they will say that they say that they don't know me. (friend lied for me). And Somehow lawyers always find me no matter how hard I try. So Soon I will move again and change to post office , hoping they won't find me. Yes, my responsibility to pay that debt, my wife have a lot of mental illness and get treatment, The medicare only pays 80% and I have to pay 20%. I receiving full Medicaid with no copay. She does not qualify to have an assist to pay for 20% after medicare paid 80%. We are the disability and I have no income and my wife have SSDI to support us and we are in full welfare to support us. So yes, lawyers are dirty and greedy. I may not answer the door from FedEx and let the mail go back to Zionsville. I wish I want to know who is from. The FedEx will not tell me except at my door.
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