Aren't you humiliated?

Jen • 34 years old • Director of medical care company

Original medical Debt
Amount sought by the collection company

Jen’s troubles with medical debt collection began 14 years ago after several hospital bills were sent to collections. The total medical debt was $2,664.50. Jen and her husband began paying $150 a month toward the debt. The collection company requested she increase her monthly payments to $400 a month, but Jen could not afford that.

The attorney representing the collectors asked Jen and her husband to meet and discuss the situation. During that meeting, the attorney asked, “Aren’t you humiliated by the fact that you owe a debt?” They answered that they were embarrassed and were doing their best to pay it off, but it would take time because they had children they had to provide for. The attorney then told them it would be less humiliating for them to sleep in a tent by the river with their children so they could pay off their debt. Jen says he strongly recommended that she and her husband not show up to court, which would result in a default judgment in the debt collector’s favor.

From 2007 to 2012, Jen and her husband made voluntary payments and had their checks garnished as well. In 2012, Jen and her husband stopped hearing from the debt collectors. They had paid a total of $4,096.16 and assumed the debt plus interest and legal fees was finally paid.

Seven years later, in October 2019, Jen was served garnishment papers for an additional $4,253.43 in attorney fees and costs! It’s now been fourteen years since the care was given and seven years since the last time she heard from the debt collectors. If the debt collectors get everything they are demanding from Jen, she will have paid $5,657.12 more than her original balance. The Idaho Patient Act would prevent this from happening.