Texas Statute of Limitations on Medical Debt
Medical debt is one of the most common types of debt in the United States. In Texas, as in other states, medical debt can quickly become overwhelming and leave individuals struggling to pay their bills. Fortunately, there are laws in place that protect consumers from being sued for medical debt that is too old.
The statute of limitations is the time period during which a creditor can legally sue a debtor for unpaid debts. In Texas, the statute of limitations on medical debt is four years. This means that if you haven’t made a payment on your medical debt in four years, the creditor can no longer sue you to collect the debt.
It’s important to note that the statute of limitations clock starts ticking from the date of the last payment made on the debt. This means that if you make a payment on your medical debt, even a small one, the clock resets and the statute of limitations starts again from that date.
What Happens After the Statute of Limitations Has Expired?
Once the statute of limitations has expired on your medical debt, the creditor can no longer sue you to collect the debt. This means that if they try to sue you, you can use the expired statute of limitations as a defense and the case will be dismissed.
However, just because the statute of limitations has expired doesn’t mean that the debt disappears. The creditor can still attempt to collect the debt through other means, such as harassing phone calls or letters. It’s important to know your rights and to understand what creditors can and cannot do to collect on a debt.
What Should You Do if You Have Medical Debt?
If you have medical debt, it’s important to take action to manage it. Here are some steps you can take:
Review your medical bills carefully to make sure that you are being charged correctly. You can request an itemized bill from your healthcare provider to ensure that you are only being charged for services you actually received.
Contact your healthcare provider and ask if they have any financial assistance programs. Many hospitals and clinics have programs in place to help low-income patients pay for medical care.
Negotiate with your healthcare provider to see if you can get a lower payment plan or a reduced lump sum payment.
Consider working with a credit counseling agency or a debt settlement company to help you manage your medical debt. These organizations can work with your creditors on your behalf to negotiate payment plans and debt settlements.
If you are being harassed by debt collectors, know your rights. Debt collectors cannot threaten you, use abusive language, or call you at unreasonable times. If you feel that your rights are being violated, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Medical debt can be a serious financial burden, but there are laws in place to protect consumers from being sued for debt that is too old. Understanding the statute of limitations on medical debt in Texas is important for anyone who is struggling with medical bills. If you have medical debt, take action to manage it and know your rights when dealing with creditors and debt collectors.
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