Facing any kind of debt is a stressful and scary situation. Yet when it comes to medical debt, this can be particularly frustrating. This is due to the manner in which the debt can appear. Rather than gradually building up and being known about beforehand, unexpected medical bills can turn someone’s finances upside down in an instant.
It’s also far from a rare occurrence in the United States. Statistics suggest that nearly 80 million Americans are dealing with medical debt or bills. This is despite the fact most US residents are covered with health insurance.
Sadly, this health insurance is often not adequate to cover the medical bill. This is what leads to debt and can end with a medical debt lawsuit. If you’re faced with the latter, consider these four tips for dealing with the issue:
- Never ignore the summons
When you are summoned to court due to your medical bills, it’s essential you do not overlook this order. If this happens and you don’t respond, you will simply be hit with a default judgment.
This means the hospital or debt collector can heap even further misery to your debt issues, where they can collect money from your bank or incur wage garnishment. Furthermore, they might even have the ability to include extra costs – such as attorney fees and added interest – to turn your debt into an even bigger financial burden.
As a result, always respond to the summons within the set deadline.
- Enlist professional assistance
Surprisingly, many people dealing with a consumer debt case decide to do it alone. Yet it is highly recommended you bring a professional attorney into the process.
When you require help with consumer protection or a debt lawsuit, an attorney has the knowledge and expertise to produce the best result for your case. They will be able to advise which move is the right one to make, put together your files, and provide representation in court.
Hiring a lawyer is also cheaper than you might think. To begin with, many law firms will supply a free consultation service.
- Preparing for court
As you never want to suffer from a default judgment, this means you’ll need to prepare to answer the lawsuit at court. This starts by showing up at court on the set date. It’s highly unlikely a judge will move the court date further out.
If you have any countersuits or defenses to bring up at court, you will also need to prepare to do so. Ensure you have the necessary documents and filed the right paperwork.
- Stop the lawsuit before it starts
A hospital or debt collector doesn’t want to resolve the case in court. It costs them money to take it this far, and they are unlikely to receive the full payment they are requesting.
As a result, start negotiations before the lawsuit gets any legs. A creditor will often be willing to work something out prior to launching a lawsuit, so see what type of deal you can strike that works for both parties.
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