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Small medical debts get sent to collections

Often when readers of this Tennessee debt relief and bankruptcy blog think of medical debt they imagine the massive, crippling obligations that they hear about when insurers fail to cover the necessary procedures their customers require. A patient can incur hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt if they suffer an illness or injury that their insurer does not or chooses not to cover, if they must spend extended periods of time in the hospital, or for other medical emergencies. However, a recent article suggests that many of the medical debts that Americans carry are not massive but actually relatively modest.

According to data from 2016, more than half of all medical debts that were sent to collection agencies were for less than $600. While $600 is not an insignificant sum, it is not a figure that most people would consider crippling to their finances. Once a small medical debt is sent to collections, though, a person can begin to experience big problems.

Collection agencies may engage in harassment or other illegal practices to compel individuals to pay off their obligations. Past posts on this blog have discussed ways that consumers can protect themselves from the damaging practices of creditors and collectors. They may also report consumers' medical debts to their credit reporting agencies and those small debts can impact the consumers' overall credit scores.

A small debt does not necessarily mean that a person will not suffer consequences for an unpaid medical bill. Many small medical debts are sent to collections and as a result Americans suffer harm to their credit capabilities and harassment from entities that illegally pursue payments. Individuals can get help from lawyers who work in the debt relief field.

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
4416 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-624-4002
Toll Free: 800-257-7594
Fax: 423-624-0509
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