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Medical debt and creditor harassment

When Florida residents are coping with high medical bills, they sometimes find themselves the target of aggressive bill collectors. This can be particularly exasperating for several reasons, including the fact that they may be recovering from an illness and that the information that the collection agency has about the debt may be inaccurate.

Unfortunately, this medical debt information can end up on the debtor’s credit report, making it difficult to find a job or housing or obtain credit. In fact, the problem of aggressive medical debt collection practices has been the subject of a report by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The report’s findings were concerning. Sixty-three percent of filed complaints indicated that there was some question about the validity of the debt or that it had already been discharged in bankruptcy or actually paid.

In addition, many people who complained to the CFPB noted that debt collectors engaged in inappropriate or even abusive tactics. These tactics included repeated calls, threats and even contacting friends and family members.

While there are several ways to approach medical debt and credit reporting issues, one option that people sometimes don’t consider is bankruptcy. Yet bankruptcy can, in some instances, be a wise move for someone overwhelmed by medical debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy even allows debtors to keep their property as they repay their debt over time. Accordingly, people concerned about ongoing harassment from debt collectors may benefit from speaking with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Filing will put at least a temporary halt to that. There are a variety of eligibility requirements that the lawyer can outline.

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