What Happens If You Don’t Pay a Hospital Bill? - The Atlantic
Eventually, collectors might opt to sue you, in which case they might be able to garnish your wages or put a lien on your property. Antico estimates, based on an ADP report, that about 1.5 percent of American employees have a garnishment on their wages for a medical reason.
After trying to collect on their own behalf for a while, some hospitals and doctors’ offices sell their debt to debt buyers, who pay pennies for each dollar owed, then try their hardest to simply collect more than they paid. Why hospitals sell their debt is a matter of debate, but several consumer lawyers speculated that it’s because hospitals don’t want their good names associated with aggressive debt-collection tactics. They’d rather leave the intimidating calls to a more anonymous-sounding organization like Pendrick Capital Partners, one prominent medical-debt buyer. That way the hospital at least gets paid a small amount right away, instead of holding out for the full sum.