The Pennsylvania Law on Medical Bill Collection

The Pennsylvania Law on Medical Bill Collection
Pennsylvania's consumer protection laws for debt collection apply to medical debts.

Significance

When attempting to collect a medical debt, the FDCPA and the FCEUA state that a creditor cannot harass you, threaten you or reveal your debt to others. While the FDCPA refers only to third party creditors, the FCEUA places these restrictions on original creditors for all debts, including medical bills.

Time Frame

Pennsylvania law allows third party collection agencies and original creditors to file a lawsuit for unpaid medical bills. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in Pennsylvania for unpaid unsecured debt is four years. After this time passes, you may contest any lawsuit filed by a medical creditor on the grounds the original debt is time-barred.

Considerations

If your creditor wins a lawsuit, it may not use wage garnishment as a collection tool. Pennsylvania courts only allow wage garnishment for certain debts such as taxes and child support. The creditor may, however, garnish funds from your bank account to cover outstanding medical bills.