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.