If I had been paying $100 a month on a balance balance to a doctor that my medical insurance did not cover, can he send the balance to a lawyer?

UPDATED: Feb 19, 2012

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If I had been paying $100 a month on a balance balance to a doctor that my medical insurance did not cover, can he send the balance to a lawyer?

I received a letter in the mail to pay the full balance due that I was paying $100 a month for a medical insurance balance. I cannot afford more then the $100 a month. They informed me that they will take me to court and I will have to pay court fee’s too. I want to pay the bill but cannot afford the full amount. I don’t know what to do.

Asked on February 19, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there is little you can do. A creditor--someone to whom you owe jmoney--is entitled to receive payment in full on any overdue debts. While the creditor is free to accept a payment plan or schedule from a debtor, he does not have to; therefore, even if you have been paying what you can, the creditor may sue you for the full remaining balance. And, if it is legitimate debt, he will presumably win; and winning in court, will obtain a judgment. If you do not pay the judgment, the creditor may then be able to take any of several actions, such as seeking to garnish wages, putting a lien on real property, executing on other assets of yours (e.g. having money taken from a bank account; having vehicles seized and sold; etc.). Therefore, if you can't work something out with the creditor, you do owe the money, and it is a significant amount, you may need to consider bankruptcy as an option (especially if you also have other debts); bankruptcy can be used to discharge, or eliminate (either entirely or mostly), most debts other than secured debts (like mortgages), DUI judgments, child support/alimony, and tax debts. It works particularly well on most health care or medical debts.

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