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Hospital Bills

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Fl

I have 6 hospital bills dating back to 2003. They total around 21,000.00. I have recently been getting phone calls from a collection agency. I have tried to work out a payment plan, but the amount they want each month is in no way affordable. They now say they are going to take me to court, take my home and car, and garnish our wages. Is there any help for this? I don't want to file bankruptcy. Thank you for any advice.


Senior Member
They now say they are going to take me to court, take my home and car, and garnish our wages.
For 21K you probably WILL be sued, but the threats are a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Treatening legal actions that they cannot or do not intend to take.

In FL you home is 100% EXEMPT from siezure - they can't touch it. Unless you're driving a Rolls Royce, they probably won't bother with the car, they depreciate too quickly and if you have little equity in it, it won't be worth the trouble to try to sieze it.

Garnishing wages IS likely. However, if you are head of household FL has an exemption you can claim to prevent garnishment of your wages. Bank accounts are also highly vulnerable as they can dip into those and drain them dry.

Stop trying to come to some 'agreement' with them on the phone - it's pointless. If it's not in writing, it's worthless anyway. It's rare anyone can afford to pay up on a huge bill like this and they know it - but they use fear and intimidation to make people cough up money they probably don't even have.

You can try making a settlement offer and/or payment plan IN WRITING and send it to them, but if you can't make a decent offer that'll get the debt paid in short order, then they'll likely reject it out of hand.

If you don't want to file bankruptcy, and you can't pay them, then you'll be looking at a judgment that will hang around for the next 20 years.

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