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Is medical debt considered secured or unsecured debt?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2018 | Firm News

Different types of debts can have different priorities. Depending upon the type of debt that a Tennessee resident holds, their creditors can pursue different methods of seeking the collection of the debtor’s obligations. If a debt is secured then there is property that may be reclaimed in satisfaction of the debt. For example, a car loan is a secured debt because the lender can repossess the debtor’s vehicle if they stop making payments on their loan.

However, debts that do not have property backing them are considered unsecured debts. Medical debts, like credit card debts, are unsecured. There is nothing that a doctor, medical group, or hospital can take away from a person who cannot pay their medical bills, though there are a number of actions those entities can take to get the money they are owed.

Lenders of unsecured debts may be able to increase interest rates on individuals who have not made full payments, and they may sue debtors for the money they have not yet received. If a lender receives a judgment against a debtor then actions such as garnishment may be pursued to help the lender get back the amount of the loan that they are due to receive.

Getting sued for payment on a loan that a debtor does not have the money to pay can be scary and overwhelming. Though every individual should get case-specific guidance on their own debt situations, bankruptcy can help some avoid litigation and the garnishment of their wages. Debtors who use bankruptcy can often consolidate the money they owe to others and find manageable ways to overcome their financial hardships.