My 20 year old full time college student had to go to the er due to her pelvic being septic. She has no.insurance and recieved a bill for $4600. They are forcing her tonpay $200 a month and she can not afford that but they didnt care. They told her the would turn her over to collections. She was just seen in the er 5 days ago and they are already stressing and threatening her. What should she do.
She should apply for Medicaid if she received emergency treatment and they might pick up the bill for her.
The reality is the hospital can ask for anything they want, but if there is no money to pay it, it ain't gonna get paid, right? They can't force her to pay if she has no income. So, they send it to a collection agency. That doesn't really mean much. They can hurt her credit, and they can sue her. But if she has no income they still won't get paid.
Short of suing her they can't force any amount. She owes all of it - at once now. But even if they sue, until and unless she works or gets a job, they have NO way to collect. Since she's not working they can't do much to her, and depending on her other debts, she may want to consider a lawyer to bankrupt and wipe out the debt. She should not answer any phone calls at all from them, and as to letters she should save them and see a lawyer to weigh options.
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Them allowing her to pay $200/mo. is actually a concession that they are not obligated to make. The full balance is due upon services rendered. If she cannot make the $200 payments, they will ultimately send the account to collections. Once in collections, document all communications or attempted communications by the debt collector whether a call, mail, or email. Then, contact a consumer attorney to see if the communications may constitute violations of consumer protection law. If they do end up suing her, immediately contact a consumer protection or debt defense attorney to explore your options. Sometimes, these things just have to run their course unless you can afford or can borrow the money to pay what they are asking.
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