Hospital bill in collections going to court

UPDATED: Dec 30, 2010

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 30, 2010Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Hospital bill in collections going to court

My husband has a hospital bill for $900 in collections and is being taken to court. He doesn’t have a job and is on VA disability. The collection company wants $3500 for this bill. Can they garnish my wages since I’m the working one or can they garnish his VA money?

Asked on December 30, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, creditors can not garnish your disability benefits.  So your Husband's VA disability payments are safe here.  Also generally speaking you are not responsible for the medical bills of your spouse.  However, there are exceptions to this rule.  One of them comes in to play when you live in a community property state which you do in Washington.  Then if the bill is incurred during the marriage it can be viewed as a joint debt.  Also, if you agreed to pay the bill by signing anything when he was admitted to the hospital you could be liable.  Finally, if your state has enacted in to law the common law "doctrine of Necessities" you could also be liable. Check with an attorney in your state.  Also, $3500 sounds like a lot for what was originally a small bill.  You need to get help validating the debt to make sure the collection agency has a right to collect it and to negotiate it down. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption