Hospitals Sue Patients for Unpaid Medical Bills: What You Can Do
Hospitals are filing lawsuits against more of their patients. As collection agencies are less effective in collecting unpaid medical bills, hospitals sue patients with unpaid medical bills when they chose to collect from patients directly, instead of using a collection agency.
People incorrectly assume medical bills don’t matter and hope they do not get sued. Many large hospitals have a billing department that spends a calculated amount of time trying to collect a medical bill before sending it off to collections. Many collection agencies just call and harass you. Others threaten to sue.
Meanwhile, some hospitals sue patients for unpaid medical bills instead of waiting for the collection agencies to try collecting the balance due. Bankruptcy can stop the lawsuit!
Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer Joseph Wrobel Can Help You Today at (312) 781-0996
News Article: Lawsuits From Nonprofit Hospitals That Trap Them in Debt
A struggling social worker, the former patient is being sued by a nonprofit healthcare network in Memphis, Tennessee. Her name is Raquel Nelson and she was sued for $2,200 by Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. Raquel isn’t the only one being sued, there are more than 8,300 lawsuits filed against patients for unpaid medical bills over five years.
If you think a hospital won’t sue you unless the amount is large enough, talk to Raquel Nelson or one the other 8,300 defendants with court dates. Most defendants sued for medical debts cannot afford a civil lawyer to defend them. Most defendants end up with a money judgment entered against them and a wage garnishment filed with the court and served on their employer’s payroll department.
You can stop lawsuits by hospitals with the protection of Bankruptcy Laws. For example, the Automatic Stay provision is a law that prohibits a creditor or collector from continuing any collection activity. A bankruptcy filing will also stop a wage garnishment. The money judgment entered against you in court can even be eliminated through a bankruptcy discharge.
Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer Joseph Wrobel can help you today when you dial (312) 781-0996.
Bad Things Happen to Good People: Bankruptcy Laws Can Stop Lawsuits When Hospitals Sue Patients
Car accidents involving uninsured and underinsured motorists can leave injured victims high and dry, with no money to pay medical bills. Especially when your injuries are severe and you required surgery and rehabilitative care, the hospital bills can be tens of thousands of dollars.
Job losses and layoffs affect people’s budget and ability to make payments on medical bills. Plenty of people with medical debt can prevent collection activities by negotiating a monthly payment amount people can afford. If something happens that affects the ability to pay, like a job loss or layoff, you might end up getting sued by the hospital.
Why Collection Agencies Are Ineffective at Getting Hospitals Paid
Hospitals don’t write off as many bills as you may think. Check out this Modern Healthcare article, A Closer Look at Hospital Write-Offs.
A collector does not pose much of a threat if all they are going to do is continue harassing you. Collection agencies must follow debt collection practice laws. These are federal laws with serious penalties. More people are reporting bill collectors to the federal agencies who police them. As a result, collection agencies are changing their practice and might be less effective and hospitals are avoiding them and directly collecting and filing lawsuits.
When most people think about a bankruptcy case they are looking for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Chapter 7 requires you to qualify. If, for example, your income is more than allowed in Chapter 7, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
If you are being sued or your wages are being garnished, you can stop the lawsuit and a wage garnishment with a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and its Automatic Stay, stopping creditors and collectors in their tracks.
Chapter 13 is the bankruptcy plan where you repay a portion of your debts over a three to five year period. In Chapter 13, you are allowed to keep your house, car, and personal possessions that might otherwise need to be sold or liquidated in a traditional Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Just like Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, a lawsuit, money judgment, and wage garnishment will also be stopped by the Automatic Stay when you file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Call Joseph Wrobel, your Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer (312) 781-0996.
Read Some Words from Happy Clients who Hired Joseph Wrobel for a Fresh New Start
“We hired Joseph Wrobel during one of the worst times in our lives…Bankruptcy. He was very knowledgable and honest. He responded to emails immediately, answered every question we had, no matter how small and always made us feel at ease. From the very first meeting with him until the end of our bankruptcy case, we knew we could depend on him. We’re very thankful for his expertise and would highly recommend him to anyone out there looking for legal assistance.” Scott and Lisa (2013)
When hospitals sue patients for unpaid medical bills, Joseph Wrobel can help!