It can be very easy for people to avoid talking about financial issues. They may be overwhelmed by debt, confused or embarrassed to talk about the situation with other people. This can make people feel isolated and alone. However, it is crucial that folks in New Jersey who may be in this situation to speak to someone and begin to tackle financial issues.
Many people may be surprised that they are definitely not alone when it comes to mounting debt. It doesn’t just affect people who are living above their means or who are unemployed. In fact, a new report suggests that medical debt, something that can affect people from all walks of life, is a bigger problem than many people may realize.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 54 million people in this country had difficulty paying off medical bills last year. And 41 million people with this type of debt were contacted by collection agencies. This is certainly not an isolated issue, and it can be important for people to know what to do if they get a call from a collection agency referencing unpaid medical bills.
The first thing that people should do is to make sure the debt being referenced is accurate. In about 7 million cases that are sent to a collections agency, it is because of a billing error. Requesting that the debt owed be sent to you in writing is one way to ensure the amount is accurate, and it can also stop the calls from collections until the request is fulfilled.
Depending on the amount owed, a person may want to tackle the issue head on and pay the debt. However, this is often not an option for people with substantial medical bills. If the debt cannot be paid, people can work to develop a repayment plan or they may want to consider filing for bankruptcy protection. Filing for bankruptcy is one way to have the debt discharged and to stop harassment from collections agencies.
Often times, the best solution for medical debt depends on a number of factors specific to each person’s situation. Working with an attorney can help people tackle mounting debt and find a solution that can ease the stress and anxiety of receiving medical care.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “How to stop medical bills from going to a collection agency,” Lisa Zamosky, July 5, 2013
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