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Were Debt Collectors Trying to Collect in Emergency Room?

Imagine you are rushing into the emergency room because your daughter was involved in a car accident and might have internal bleeding, yet before you can even call for a doctor, a debt collector accosts you about a medical bill you might not have paid in full.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/business/debt-collector-is-faulted-for-tough-tactics-in-hospitals.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Apparently, this is the current strategy of at least one debt collection agency that is targeting would-be patients in hospitals.  These debt collectors are rewarded by gift cards and lunches for the amount of debt they collect, at whatever cost.  Those that aren’t collecting are getting fired.  According to this article, these debt collectors are being instructed to target labor and delivery because there is “a lot of money there.”  These debt collectors are even going so far as to disguise themselves as employees of the hospital.  They do not announce that they are seeking to collect on a debt.  These debt collectors are targeting those at the hospital at a vulnerable time in order to get them to pay on a debt owed to that hospital.  To me, this collection practice is despicable.  It preys on people at a time when they are vulnerable using trickery and deceit to get some money for the hospital.  This debt collection tactic is also dissuading individuals from seeking medical help for life threatening emergencies.

Until debt collectors are banned from hospitals and emergency rooms, the only thing you can do to protect yourself from these debt collectors is to have the number to an experienced debt settlement attorney handy.  An experienced debt settlement attorney can advise you of your rights and help you deal with these nasty debt collectors.  When the medical emergency has passed, an experienced debt settlement attorney can help by negotiating large reductions in the amount of medical bills you might owe.  Debt owed for a medical service should never prevent you from obtaining emergency medical care.  Have a debt settlement attorney resolve that debt for you so that the next time a medical emergency occurs, the only thing you will be thinking about is how to get to that emergency room as quickly as possible.

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Kevin Fallon McCarthy is the McCarthy Law PLC’s managing attorney and an experienced Phoenix debt attorney. Mr. McCarthy has also worked as general counsel for a large corporation. He has corporate counsel experience in human resource matters, general corporate governance, and union class action litigation.