Medical Bills and Bankruptcy: How to save your wages from garnishment


            A recent broadcast and article regarding medical bills from non-profit hospitals caught my attention.

            The above link will take you to the story regarding non-profit hospitals suing low-wage workers for past due medical bills. The suits resulted in judgments against the low wage workers and garnishment of wages. In the article, some people had been garnished for years as a result of large past due medical bills. The hospitals in question were all non-profit hospitals that were receiving significant tax breaks and were supposed to be offering low wage workers financial programs to reduce or eliminate medical bills based on income guidelines. Of course, the hospitals weren’t following the guidelines and continued to garnish wages from low wage workers.

            In our practice, we see this type of behavior by medical providers nearly every day. Almost every potential client who comes in to our office has some type of medical debt. Frequently, the medical bills are a primary cause of the need to file Chapter 7. Co-pays and uninsured costs can quickly overwhelm low income and middle class people if any type of serious medical incident occurs. The result is often collection calls, notices and lawsuits.

           My thought during the entire broadcast regarding the above link was “Why don’t these people just file Chapter 7?”. I listened to several people on the story recount how they had been garnished 10% to 25% of their wages for years. These were people who could not afford to have even $1 taken from their family. Yet, there they were still struggling with the garnishments.

            If you find yourself or a family member in such a situation, contact our office for a personal and private conversation to discuss options. Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies offer the opportunity to stop wage garnishments and eliminate or reduce medical bills, credit cards and other unsecured type of loans. Don’t struggle with wage garnishment needlessly. Know your options.

At Mickler & Mickler, we attend Court on a regular basis. We have the experience and knowledge to ensure that you receive the correct advice when confronted with difficult financial decisions related to filing bankruptcy. Contact us at 904.725.0822 or


Bryan K. Mickler