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About medical debt collection practices

Every year, millions of people in Florida and throughout the nation who have debt related to medical expenses get contacted by debt collectors. Aggressive collection tactics are routinely used by the debt collectors, many of whom try to collect payments from the wrong customers. Based on the 17,701 complaints that have been submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there are widespread issues with medical debt collection.

The various complaints that are submitted to the CFPB indicate that many of the consumers who are contacted about past due medical payments should not have been contacted at all. Almost 63 percent of the complaints state that the debt was never due, was paid or discharged through the bankruptcy process or was not a verified debt for the consumer in question.

There are also numerous complaints that detail the hostile and inappropriate tactics used by the medical debt collectors. The collection methods may include threatening legal action, placing harassing calls to family and friends, engaging in repetitive or frequent calls to the consumer and using abusive language.

It should be noted that a disproportionate number of the total complaints are focused on a small number of companies. In fact, 20 percent of all of the complaints refer to just 10 companies.

Individuals who have overwhelming medical debt may be able to find relief through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A bankruptcy lawyer may examine a client’s debts and advise of how Chapter 13 may be used to create a manageable payment plan that will stop creditor harassment and provide a fresh financial start.

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