Texas Medical Debt Statute of Limitations
If you’re facing medical debt in Texas, it’s important to understand the state’s statute of limitations for such debts. A statute of limitations sets a deadline for legal action to be taken against a person or entity, which means that once the time limit has passed, a creditor cannot legally sue you for payment. In Texas, the statute of limitations for medical debt is four years.
What Is Included in Medical Debt?
Medical debt can include any costs related to medical care, such as hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, and prescription drugs. It can also include bills from laboratories, radiologists, and other medical professionals who provided services related to your medical care.
How Does the Statute of Limitations Work?
The statute of limitations begins on the date of the last payment made towards the medical debt. So, if you made a payment on March 1, 2018, the four-year statute of limitations would begin on that date. If you don’t make any payments towards the debt, the statute of limitations begins on the date of service or treatment.
Once the statute of limitations has expired, the creditor cannot legally sue you for payment. However, it’s important to note that if you make a payment towards the debt after the statute of limitations has expired, it can restart the clock and give the creditor the ability to sue you again.
Can Medical Debt Be Removed from Your Credit Report?
Medical debt can be reported to credit bureaus and can negatively impact your credit score. However, a new rule from the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, requires medical debt to be given a 180-day waiting period before it can be reported on your credit report. This allows time for insurance payments to be processed and for any billing errors to be corrected.
Additionally, you have the right to dispute any errors on your credit report, including medical debts that were reported incorrectly. It’s important to regularly check your credit report to ensure that all information is accurate.
What Are Your Options for Dealing with Medical Debt?
If you’re struggling with medical debt, there are several options available to you:
Negotiate with the healthcare provider or collection agency: Many healthcare providers and collection agencies are willing to work out payment plans or settle the debt for less than the full amount owed.
Consider bankruptcy: While not an ideal solution, filing for bankruptcy can discharge medical debt and provide you with a fresh start.
Seek assistance: There are several nonprofit organizations that offer assistance with medical debt, including the National Patient Advocate Foundation and RIP Medical Debt.
Work with a credit counseling agency: A credit counseling agency can help you create a budget and develop a plan to pay off your medical debt.
Medical debt in Texas is subject to a four-year statute of limitations, which means that once the time limit has passed, a creditor cannot legally sue you for payment. However, it’s important to understand your options for dealing with medical debt and to regularly check your credit report to ensure that any information reported is accurate.
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