Medical Debt Collection Basics for West Palm Beach
Medical debt or healthcare debt is a major problem in the State of Florida and throughout the nation. According to an article on PBS.org, a study by Health Affairs shows that one in six Americans have past-due medical bills on their credit report. The debt totals $81 billion. When a person does not pay their medical bills, hospitals, dental offices and other medical facilities turn to debt collection agencies to recover. Today, we will discuss medical debt collection laws for the West Palm Beach community.
Be Aware of Medical Billing Malpractice
Pay attention to your medical bills. Often times, medical facilities add additional charges to medical bills. This is known as medical malpractice. Take some time to review your medical bills and itemized statements in their entirety.
If your medical bills are currently in collection and you see the following, you should contact a West Palm Beach medical debt collection attorney as soon as possible:
- Charges for not having insurance
- Unexpected charges
- Hefty costs for small items
- Double billing
Fair Debt Collection
Debt collection agencies must be fair and reasonable as they work to collect the debt owed to their client. Unfortunately, unfair practices occur often. That is why laws are in place to regulate the debt collection process.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the federal law that limits bill collectors when it comes to attempting to collect a debt. It protects consumers from unfair debt collection practices such as harassment, abuse, and misleading tactics.
The State of Florida has its own law that also provides protection for consumers. Florida’s Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) also protects you from unfair debt collection practices. Under Florida law, a debt collector is prohibited from the following:
- Pose as law enforcement or governmental agency
- Make threats
- Use profane or vulgar language
- Attempt to enforce a debt when the debt is illegitimate
- Publish or post names of debtors
- Communicate with debtor between 9 pm and 8 am
Ways to Overcome Medical Debt
Even if your medical debt is in collections, there are ways to overcome the debt through negotiation, a payment arrangement, or see if you qualify for Medicaid.
The last, but not least, option is filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can be a viable solution to give you a fresh start and get creditors off your back. After all, it’s better to start over than to continue to struggle and not have the funds to live a normal life because all of your hard-earned money goes towards debts – debts that you cannot afford to pay.
Whatever option you choose, make sure you seek legal counsel to discuss all strategies and discover the best route to take.
Contact Our Experienced West Palm Beach Medical Debt Attorneys
Do not ignore your medical debt because it will not go away. If you need help with finding the solution to handling your medical debt, contact the West Palm Beach medical debt attorneys at Kelley, Fulton & Kaplan. Contact our office for a consultation at 561-264-6850.