What to do about collection efforts regarding unpaid medical bills?

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What to do about collection efforts regarding unpaid medical bills?

I have unpaid medical bills of $23,000. I am being threatened by a collection agency to place a lawsuit on me if the fees are not paid within a certain time frame. I would like to know what they are able to do to a person with my current financial status? I am a single mother who only earns $800 a month and I have no personal assets owned under my name? However, I am still worried because of the threats that are being left each day on my answer machine.

Asked on September 27, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can certainly be sued if you owe the money, and they can get a judgment against you. They probably can't do much to enforce the judgment right now, based on what you write (you have no assets; you have a very low income; some states, like Texas, do not allow wage garnishment). However, a judgment remains in effect for many years, so they can look to enforce it if your financial situation every improves (e.g. if you buy or inherit property or inherit money; if you income increases). The unsatisfied judgment will also damage your credit rating--but if the rating is already bad, it may not make more difference.


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