What Can Happen When You Neglect To Pay Your Medical Bills

Posted on: 22 June 2015


Most of the time, when you visit the doctor's office or quick care clinic, the payment for services is expected before you leave. If you have a long-standing relationship with the doctor, you may be able to make payment arrangements with the front office. However, when you go to the hospital, you can accrue quite a large bill that is not demanded right away. Hopefully, any procedures you may undergo at the hospital will be covered by your insurance, but you may be responsible for a deductible. If you fail to pay your medical bills in a timely manner, there are a couple of different things that may happen.

Court Judgement

The hospital's finance department may file a court case to have your wages garnished. If they win, the court will place a judgment on the records and contact your employer. Not only will the employer take money from each paycheck and send it to the hospital, but the court's judgment will go on your credit report.

Lien on Your Property

If you are not working, or the court determines you do not make enough money to garnish your wages, it may put a lien on your property. This means that the hospital now owns a portion of your home. When you go to sell the property, all liens will be paid before you receive any money from the sale.

Collection Agency

In many cases, the hospital will sell your overdue account to a collection agency. This saves them from having to take you to court and they receive a percentage of the money you owed them as a sale price for the account. Then the collection agency will start to work on you. They will send you letters, call you at home, and call you at work to attempt to collect the debt. Eventually, they may turn to the court system to get their money.

When you owe money on medical bills, the debt is usually not reported to a credit-reporting agency until it goes to court or a collection agency. If the hospital takes it to court, it will show up as a medical bill and future potential creditors may not count it when evaluating your credit. However, if it goes to a collection agency, it will be reported quickly and may not indicate that it is for medical bills. It is best to try and work out some type of payment arrangement with the hospital to keep things from escalating and getting on your credit report.

For more information about how collections agencies can affect you, consider speaking with a representative fromAlacrity Collections Corporation.