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Medical bills

Alameda, CA |

can my house be taken for medical debts?

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Attorney answers 3


You can be sued for medical bills, the creditors can get judgments and then put liens against your house. Whether they would think it is worthwhile to foreclose rather than wait to sell is another thing, but I think in practice it is rare for them to foreclose on your house because they will be behind any mortgages you have against the property. But they do have the ability to foreclose their lien, I just haven't seen it happen with medical judgments or credit cards.


The creditor would have to jump throug many hoops in order to "take your house". First, the creditor has to sue you and win. If the medical bills were unreasonable, you could assert that as a defense, or even would out a payment plan or other settlement during the course of that lawsuit.
If the creditor won the lawsuit and got a judgment against you, you have the right to assert what is called a homestead in your residence, and the creditor must get a court order before your house could be sold, and such an order would be make only if there is substantial equity over and above the amount of your homestead.
You also may be eligible for file bankruptcy.
Obviously, this is a very important issue for you, and rather than relying on this very limited information, you need to sit down with an attorney and discuss your options.


Can your house be taken? Yes. Would it be taken? Probably not. But, here is a better question: should you wait for it to get that far? That answer is probably not. If you incurred the debts, you should try to negotiate a resolution with the provider. If you cannot negotiate a resolution, have an attorney to do it on your behalf. You are better off trying to resolve these issues before you get sued.

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