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Can wages be garnished for unpaid medical bills?

Rockford, IL |

I have unpaid medical bills

Attorney Answers 5


  1. In states that allow wage garnishment, absolutely! Creditors usually must obtain a court judgment first, which begins by filing a lawsuit in the county where you live. Don't buy into the foolish urban myth that says that if it is a medical debt, "they" have to accept your token payment or can do nothing to collect. Hope this perspective helps!


  2. Yes. However, before they can garnish, the creditor must sue you and obtain a judgment.

    In addition, if the medical provider was a state or county hospital, some states (I don't know about IL) allow intercept of state tax refunds without first having to obtain a judgment.


  3. If the medical provider, or the debt collection agency they refer the matter to, files a court case and wins a judgment against you then yes. However, they cannot garnish your wages without obtaining a judgment first.

    Steven A. Jayson, Esq. www.jaysonlawgroup.com Office 908-258-0621 DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. THIS IS GENERAL INFORMATION AND LAWS VARY FROM STATE TO STATE. PLEASE CHECK WITH A LOCAL ATTORNEY OR CONTACT THE IRS OR STATE TAXING AUTHORITY WITH ANY QUESTIONS.


  4. Yes, if they get a judgment against you in court and if your wages are sufficient to permit garnishment.

    Though we strive to provide accurate legal information in our answers on AVVO, our answer should not be construed as legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Our firm only forms attorney-client relationships by written agreement signed by both our firm and the client. Please seek an in-person consultation with an attorney immediately as almost all legal matters are time sensitive and failing to meet deadlines can result in adverse consequences.


  5. They need to have a judgment first. If a debt collection agency has threatening to garnish your wages without having a judgment, it is possible that they violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and you should speak to a consumer law attorney. Most provide a free consultation and take good FDCPA cases on a contingency basis.

    The above response is not intended to create, nor does it create either an attorney-client relationship or an ongoing duty to respond to questions. It is intended to be solely the educated opinion of the author and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Some responses may be advertising material. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the inquiring person and additional or differing facts might change the response. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the state of Illinois. Responses are answers to general legal questions and the inquiring party should consult a local attorney for specific answers and advice. Answering this question does not create a duty to keep information confidential, nor does it prevent me from representing an adverse party. Advertising Materials.

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