Are you in collections for medical debt? Are you worried about how you will pay your bills going forward? If so, you can obtain the help you need from the Law Offices of Cibik & Cataldo. If you are one of the many people being harassed by medical debt collectors, you have rights. Collection agencies that collect medical debt must abide by the same standards for collection practices as any other type of debt collection agency. We will help you protect yourself from medical debt collectors while exploring all available options for your financial future, such as filing for bankruptcy.
The Law Offices of Cibik & Cataldo have successfully helped many clients throughout Philadelphia, Bucks County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County stop abuse from medical debt collectors. If a collection agency is abusing you or you have been victimized by confusing third-party billing, one of our medical debt collection lawyers can provide you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We will stop creditor abuse and harassment and help you look into medical debt forgiveness or bankruptcy options. If you need assistance with medical debt, you have nothing to lose by discussing your case with one of our experienced lawyers. We offer our clients a free initial consultation.
Medical debt is any debt you have from things like a hospital, a doctor, or an ambulance ride. If you feel overwhelmed by your current medical debt, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation!
If you are dealing with extensive medical debt, you may be wondering if it is worth looking into filing for bankruptcy. You can wipe out, or discharge, medical debt through bankruptcy. Unpaid medical bills are one of the main reasons people seek relief through bankruptcy. There are several factors you should consider before you file for bankruptcy, however. Will another financial crisis happen after you file for bankruptcy? Keep in mind that you are only entitled to so many debt discharges through bankruptcy within a specific time frame.
For example, after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to wait eight years before you obtain another debt discharge. If you anticipate having more medical bills after your first bankruptcy, it may be worth discussing other options and waiting to file for bankruptcy. You may be able to apply for medical payment assistance, or your lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement with the debt collector, allowing you to pay a lump sum instead of continuing to pay high payments over time. The best thing you can do is discuss your case with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.
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As insurance premiums continue to rise along with the cost of medical care, many Americans are grappling with extensive medical debt. One surgery, accident, illness, or pregnancy can easily reach five figures in medical costs, even when you have health insurance. You may have to deal with lingering medical debt. There are several steps you can take to try to get out of medical debt, including the following:
* Do not ignore your medical bills. Doing so is one of the worst things you can do. If you ignore them, your bills will be sent to a collection agency and you will be subject to annoying phone calls. Your credit score will also take a hit.
* Make sure all of the charges are accurate. Medical billing is confusing, and you could have been charged for treatment for services you never received. For example, even if you checked out in the morning, you may have been charged for a full day in a room at the hospital.
* Do not use your credit cards to pay off medical bills, which is a common temptation. In most cases, credit card interest rates are higher than those of medical bills. If you work with an experienced lawyer, your lawyer will have more room to negotiate payment for medical bills than with a credit card company.
* Work with your lawyer to negotiate an interest-free payment plan with the hospital or doctor’s office. Your lawyer may also be able to ask for a prompt pay discount, meaning if you pay more in advance, they will take a discount off of the total.
* You may be able to apply for a loan as a last resort or apply for other types of financial assistance. Suppose your bills have already gone to a collection agency. In that case, your lawyer can aggressively negotiate with them and make sure they follow federal guidelines when they discuss your bills with you.
* Filing for bankruptcy is frequently a helpful way to deal with significant medical debt. There are several different types of bankruptcy, and one of our experienced players can help you decide which one is right.
Q: What happens if you do not pay medical bills?
A: If you do not pay your medical bills, they will be handed off to a collection agency. The collection agency will be able to pursue compensation from you. After a certain length of time, the collection agency can go to court and seek a judgment against you for repayment.
Q: Do medical bills go away after seven years?
A: A common myth is that medical debt goes away after seven years, but this is not true. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, most accounts that go to collections can only remain on your credit report for seven years. After that, the debt cannot negatively affect your credit score anymore. However, just because the medical debt is off your credit report does not mean it will not be held against you when you apply for an apartment, a job, or a loan.
Q: What is the average medical bill debt?
A: According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), among American households with medical debt, the median amount owed was $2,000. Note that median amounts often differ across states.
Q: Do hospitals ever write off unpaid medical bills?
A: Many factors go into whether a hospital writes off an individual’s bill.
Most hospitals categorize unpaid bills into two categories: charity care is when hospitals write off bills for patients who cannot afford payments. However, when patients who are expected to pay do not, their debts are known as bad debt.
Q: What percentage of bankruptcies are medical?
A: One study suggests that over 62% of bankruptcies in America are due to medical debt, although some argue that the number is lower.
Q: How do you get medical debt forgiven?
A: It is possible, in some cases, to negotiate some of the terms of your medical bills with hospitals or other healthcare providers. You can also try to work out a payment plan directly with your healthcare provider to avoid collection agencies. If your bill cannot be reduced, however, there are alternative methods to help manage your medical debt.
Often, if you can prove a hardship such as disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for medical debt forgiveness. You may also be able to find other resources like nonprofit organizations that can help with your medical bills.
If you don’t qualify for forgiveness and can’t work out an alternative, contact our team at Cibik & Cataldo. Our bankruptcy attorneys have years of experience in medical debt relief, and we can help discuss your options with a free consultation.
Q: Do creditors look at medical bills?
A: In short, yes. Healthcare providers typically turn over unpaid medical bills to collection agencies, who then report to credit bureaus. This means that medical debt can hurt your credit score if it goes unpaid for long enough.
Q: Can I lose my house due to medical bills?
A: Unfortunately, it is possible to lose your home due to unpaid medical bills. If your medical debt goes unpaid for too long, the healthcare provider may take your case to court. A judge may then put a lien on your assets, like your home, car, or other valuable possessions, or can rule for the seizure of those assets in order to pay off medical debts. Filing for bankruptcy as a result of medical debt can also lead to the liquidation of assets, including your home.
Q: How do I protect my assets from hospital bills?
A: If you are facing medical debt and are worried about your assets, contact the team at Cibik & Cataldo, P.C. Our bankruptcy attorneys have handled numerous medical debt cases and can advise you on the best route out of debt.
If you are experiencing significant medical debt, you are not alone. Many Philadelphia residents struggle to pay their medical debt. You may feel like you are out of options, but the experienced medical debt relief lawyers at the Law Offices of Cibik & Cataldo are here to help you find a solution to your medical debt challenges. We have helped clients throughout Philadelphia, Bucks County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County manage their medical debt issues. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.