What Happens If You Don’t Pay Medical Bills?
Americans are estimated to collectively owe as much as $140 billion in outstanding medical debt. 1 in every 3 U.S. adults have at least one unpaid healthcare bill. Statistics show that households with children are more likely than those without children to have unpaid medical bills. Medical bills are the nation’s largest source of collections debt, outranking the combined amount owed on credit cards, utilities, and auto loans. Lack of insurance and a steadily increasing cost of healthcare are the two main reasons behind the growing medical debt problem.
What if you can’t pay your hospital bills? What if you have accumulated medical bills and have no way of paying it on time? On both accounts, the consequences can be serious.
Because of the unaffordability of todays medical care, people may choose to skip out on the care they need, such as doctor appointments, tests, treatments, and prescription medications. Or they may choose to get the medical help that is necessary and struggle to pay other bills, deplete savings, damage their credit, and even declare bankruptcy.
If you’re having trouble paying your medical bills, we’re here to help.
What happens if you don’t pay your medical bills?
You may be contacted by a debt collector if your unpaid medical bills go into collections. Sometimes, you will receive a final warning to pay before the debt goes to collections. A debt collector’s job is to get a debtor to pay the outstanding balance in full. This is how CuraDebt, a debt settlement firm, can help you. In many instances a debt collector will be willing to negotiate with us. We will set you up with a special purpose savings account, where you will deposit affordable payments monthly. Once your account reaches a certain amount we will contact your creditor or collector and offer a settlement amount for less than what you originally owed.
When dealing with collectors it is important to know your rights in debt collection. Debt collectors can not call you an unreasonable number of times or outside of the hours of 8AM to 9PM in your time zone. They also can’t:
- Call you after you send a letter asking them to stop (though they can use other communication methods, and stopping calls doesn’t make the debt go away).
- Use deceptive or misleading comments, such as telling you that you will go to jail if you don’t pay or saying they work for a credit bureau.
- Threaten to tell others about your debt (except for your lawyer or spouse).
Medical debt should not be ignored because there are serious consequences of unpaid medical debt besides dealing with debt collectors. They include:
- Negative items on your credit report
- Decreased credit score
- Court judgments that garnish your wages or bank account, or place a lien on your home
Does unpaid medical debt go away?
Unpaid medical debt usually doesn’t disappear. Outstanding healthcare bills end up in collections. A collection can turn into a lawsuit or lead to bankruptcy.
Paying medical debt not only gives you peace of mind, but will also keep negative items off your credit report.
July 1, 2022 marked the date that the three credit-reporting bureaus began to wait 1 year before reporting unpaid medical debt. Starting in 2023, medical debts less than $500 will not be added to credit reports. However, unpaid medical debt that is reported is likely to remain on your credit report for 7 years.
How Can CuraDebt Help Settle Your Unpaid Medical Bills?
Our team of professionals will advocate for you and negotiate with your creditors and collectors on your behalf. You will never have to deal with the stress of communicating with angry creditors or debt collectors again. Turning to debt settlement is a way to reduce the official debt amount owed and avoid bankruptcy, which comes with issues of its own. Please visit The Pros and Cons of Bankruptcy to learn more.
Considering debt settlement? Contact us today for your free consultation. 1-877-850-3328