To be able to garnish you, they'd first have to sue you and get a judgment. While they could do it for that amount, many doctors would not file suit over that amount. If they don't ever sue, then there never will be a garnishment.
If you have other debts you may want to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer such as myself.
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The doctor would have to prove that the charges were reasonable. Consider applying for health insurance under the affordable care act come October.
The answer given is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Dwight Bowen is a bankruptcy and consumer attorney and may be contacted at (404) 880-3310.
There are several steps that the creditor doctor must take before a garnishment could happen. First, the creditor must sue you. Then there must be a judgment against you. Only when there is a judgment can your bank accounts and paycheck (up to 25%) be garnished. There is a cost associated with hiring an attorney to file the lawsuit and the necessary steps before there is a judgment, and a debt of 486 might have too small of a return to justify the time and expense to sue you.
Do you have other debts in addition to this medical bill? How much? You can consult with a bankruptcy attorney (many offer free consultations) to determine if it would make sense for you to file bankruptcy.