Skip to main content

I have a private physician bill for 486.00 I am unable to pay. Can they garnish my meager wages?

Lagrange, GA |

I live in GA and I make roughly 180.00 a week, below poverty. I have contacted them several times to try and lower my bill based on the fact that my income is so low. I have even faxed them several times with proof. They are dodging me and claim to "lose" or "not receive" my faxes.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


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.

If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


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.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer