According to the National Consumer Law Center, over half of all accounts in collections are medical debts. Tennessee residents who aren’t sure if they owe a medical debt attributed to them should first contact their insurance company to confirm that it is legitimate. If the bill is legitimate, it may be possible to negotiate a lower balance. Individuals can use a medical debt advocate to help with negotiations.

As with any other business, a medical service provider wants to keep its customers happy. It also wants to avoid any negative public reaction that might hurt its ability to retain or attract clients in the future. It is important to note that billing advocates will usually charge a fee for their services. This is often a percentage of the amount that is forgiven, but it is possible that an advocate will charge a flat fee instead.

If a person has a debt that he or she cannot afford to repay, it could be eliminated in bankruptcy. This is true of most medical debt balances as well as credit card or personal loan debt. An individual may be able to repay secured debts such as auto loans or mortgages over a period of three or five years under the terms of a Chapter 13 plan. During the repayment period, a creditor generally cannot move to repossess an item or foreclose on a home.

This may provide a chance for an individual to get current on a loan or sell an item before it is taken away. An attorney may be able to talk more about the benefits of filing for bankruptcy and how it can provide debt relief.