According to a recent report by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund that reviews reports from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, medical debt collectors have been employing aggressive tactics to collect, even from the wrong consumers, putting their credit reports at risk.
The collection attempts range from repeated calls, calls harassing family and friends, threats of legal action, and abusive language- All a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), designed to prevent creditor harassment and abuse.
Here are some important tips to remember if you are struggling with medical debt:
Confirm you owe the debt. Almost 90 percent of medical bills have costly errors, according to the Medical Billing Advocates of America and Medical Recovery Services. Request a detailed, itemized statement of charges and medical services you received.
Speak up. If you find errors in your medical records or billing, contact your doctor or the hospital billing department. Negotiate payments. They may even give you the option to defer payments for a few months or to put you on an interest-free plan where you pay a small amount toward the bill each month.
Get help. Hospitals and insurance companies often have case workers who can help with bills and resolve payment issues.
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Those who have experienced illness or injury and found themselves overwhelmed with medical debt should contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney. In bankruptcy, medical bills are considered general unsecured debts just like credit cards. This means that medical bills do not receive priority treatment and can easily be discharged in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws were created to help people resolve overwhelming debt and gain a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy attorney Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.