Q:

What does it mean if you are being sued for medical bills?

A:

Quick Answer

The Hospital Debt Justice Project reports that a hospital can sue a former patient for unpaid medical bills. The hospital is allowed to sue in an attempt to recover payment for services rendered if the hospital has determined that the patient is ineligible for government health care assistance, including free medical care and discounts based on income.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

According to the Hospital Debt Justice Project, the patient being sued must file an Appearance form with the court within a specified amount of time, such as 30 days. If the patient fails to file an Appearance form or does not show up for court, the hospital may win the lawsuit by default. The patient must also prepare and file an Answer with the court. The Answer serves as the patient's defense to the lawsuit. In lieu of suing the patient, the hospital can sue the parents of a minor child, the patient's spouse if not legally separated or a deceased patient's estate for unpaid medical bills.

The Charlotte Observer notes that patients should consult local ordinances and government assistance programs to make sure that they are not eligible for state, local or government assistance for unpaid medical bills. If the hospital wins the lawsuit and the patient cannot pay the award amount, the hospital can place a lien on the patient's property in some states and collect the money after the patient's death or the property is sold. In Illinois, a hospital cannot sue a patient who is financially unable to pay medical bills. In California, a hospital cannot place a lien against a patient's primary residence as restitution for unpaid medical bills.

Learn more about Debt Law

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does filing chapter 7 or chapter 13 affect your credit?

    A:

    Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is chosen, the negative effect on the filer’s credit is the same, according to myFico. The extent of the impact depends on largely on the debtor’s credit profile prior to filing for bankruptcy and the number of accounts included in the filing.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How often can you file Chapter 7?

    A:

    People may file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy eight years after filing a prior Chapter 7 case or six years after filing a prior Chapter 12 or 13 case, according to Lawyers.com. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is generally used by low-income debtors who have little or no assets.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How much does a chapter 7 bankruptcy cost?

    A:

    As of 2015, the total cost for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335, which include a $245 case filing fee, a $75 administrative fee and a $15 trustee surcharge, according to United States Courts. Comprehensive information about the costs and procedure for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available on the website of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What did the Debt Forgiveness Act extend to 2014?

    A:

    The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act extended tax breaks for cancelled mortgage debt through Dec. 31, 2014, according to the Washington Post. The Act, which began in 2007, previously had been set to expire at the end of 2013.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore