Can Wages Be Garnished For Medical Bills?

Health care providers can garnish your wages if you don’t pay your medical bills, but they can’t do it without a little effort.

Only a handful of creditors can take your earnings without first suing you in court, and hospitals and physicians are not among them.

Then they can use the judgment to garnish your wages.

How much can be garnished for medical bills?

Federal law places limits on how much judgment creditors can take from your paycheck. The amount that can be garnished is limited to 25% of your disposable earnings (what’s left after mandatory deductions) or the amount by which your weekly wages exceed 30 times the minimum wage, whichever is lower.

What happens if you don’t pay your medical bills?

If you start to carry medical debt and show no signs of paying it off, your provider may send your bill to a debt collections agency. The bottom line is that your medical bills can tank your credit score if they go unpaid.

How long before a creditor can garnish wages?

The creditor must then wait for a specific period, such as 15 days after the mailing, before filing the wage garnishment. Depending on your state, the court may allow the creditor to file the garnishment after it obtains the judgment, without notifying you first.

How do I stop a medical garnishment?

In some situations, you can prevent a wage garnishment without bankruptcy.

  • Respond to the Creditor’s Demand Letter.
  • Seek State-Specific Remedies.
  • Get Debt Counseling.
  • Object to the Garnishment.
  • Attend the Objection Hearing (and Negotiate if Necessary)
  • Challenge the Underlying Judgment.
  • Continue Negotiating.