This article is the first of a multiple part series on things to consider when handing a medical debt. In the world of debts, not all debts are equal. If a consumer is overburdened with debt and not able to pay all debts immediately, they should seek a strategic plan to manage the debts. Medical debts have a specific set of characteristics that should be considered when developing a debt paying plan. Below are items about medical debts from a Louisiana debt collection attorney that should be considered.
When evaluating your debts, medical debt should be a lower priority and paid only after more urgent debts (mortage, criminal citations, or car loan) are satisfied.
Medical debts usually carry low or no interests and no late payment penalties. While credit card debt may show up on your credit report immediately, medical debts generally take approximately 6 months to appear. Also, you are more likely to be sued on credit card debt than medical debt. Medical debt may go much longer without any significant adverse consequences for going unpaid. It is best to contact a Louisiana debt collection attorney, however. They may find you should not be subject to any adverse consequences at all.
If a hospital is a non-profit hospital, they may have a policy to eliminate some medical charges or reduce them if you are eligible for financial assistance or possibly late on payments. Other hospitals may ask you to sign up for a credit card, but this is generally not a better option as they may have high interest and unfavorable terms. Worse, you are less likely able to negotiate with the health care provider over the debt.
This said, a good Louisiana debt collection attorney would never advise you to ignore any debt including a medical debt. You should however consider the special rights associated with a medical debt when developing your debt payment plans.
Medical debt collectors are often able to purchase debts quickly and for pennies on the dollar. Hospitals may be willing to turn their debts over to a debt collector after a month or so instead of the usual six months of most other creditors. Again, the medical debt collectors may encourage you to put the medical debt on a credit card or ahead of more important debts. However, this is not usually in your best interest. If you are unsure of how to manage your debts or being contacted by any debt collector, it is best to request a free credit report analysis from a reliable Louisiana debt collection attorney such as at Paramount Law.
If you know that you are unable to pay the medical debt early on, it is best to contact the hospital or health care provider and let them know you will need extra time. This may prevent them from sending the debt to a debt collector since they generally have to pay the collection agency. Subsequently, this may help preserve your credit score.
If you are overburdened with medical debts or any debts, it is best to contact a Louisiana debt collection attorney such as at Paramount Law.