What happens when you simply can’t pay your medical bills?
Sadly this is one of the most common financial problems in America. 40% of Americans owe medical debt, and even with the Affordable Care Act in place, health care can feel anything but affordable.
If you have high medical debts, it’s important to know what the industry might do to make you pay them:
1) First, the doctor or hospital can sell your debt to a collection agency.
Health care providers don’t want to deal with your debt themselves. It costs money and is a dirty business. No doctor went to medical school to harass you or get a bad reputation for making your life difficult. So instead, they usually pass the buck to a collection agency that has no problem calling you at all hours with demands and threats.
2) Next, the creditor may file a lawsuit.
A lawsuit typically results in judgement. In TN, this can include a lien against your property. It also usually includes wage garnishment, which is a court order that forces your employer to take money from your paycheck in order to pay the debt.
3) As a result, your credit would be affected.
Any large debt, when you’re unable to pay it back, will affect your credit. If you’re swamped with medical debt, credit will be harder to get and more expensive. It will be harder to rent an apartment or buy a car. Your insurance rates will likely go up, because you’re considered more of a risk.
What options do you have?
The government and charities offer some relief, depending on your situation. There are free health care programs and even non-profits dedicated to helping people pay medical debt. The system is so complicated, it may help to reach out to a local organization and see what options you have.
Often outside help isn’t enough for people who are truly overwhelmed with debt. The most tragic part is that people get into medical debt in order to save their own lives. My heart breaks for anyone in this situation, and I want to do anything I can to help.
My Memphis bankruptcy firm is a great fit for anyone with medical debt. Because we also have experience in personal injury and disability, we know all too well what the health care system is like. We spend time with you and make sure to understand your situation, and then we stick with you no matter what.
We also offer a free credit repair program for every client that will help you get back to an A rating credit score, even after a bankruptcy.
So don’t wait to take control of your medical debt. Contact me today to get started.