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Debt Collection

This research guide provides information about your rights under Texas and federal law when dealing with debt and debt collectors.

Medical Debt


Many people are under the misconception that medical debt is different from other kinds of debt. While there are a couple of protections for consumers who owe medical debt, in most cases it is no different.

Can Medical Debt Be Sent to Collections?

Medical debt can be sent to a collections agency like any other debt. However, if it is owed to a non-profit hospital, they may be required to provide financial assistance to you before it is sent to collections.

Federal Law

Understanding the Law

Timely Billing

Texas has a law requiring that health care service providers bill a patient no later than the first day of the 11th month after services were provided. If the bill is not sent within the timeframe in the law, the health care service provider cannot try to collect payment for certain charges, such as anything a patient could have been reimbursed by a health plan for or any charges that a patient would not have owed had the provider billed them in a timely fashion. The details can be found in the law linked below.

Texas Law

Surprise Medical Bills

In 2019, a new law went into effect protecting consumers from surprise medical bills or "balance billing."

Texas Law

Understanding the Law