Health Insurance

Health systems seize patients home equity to pay medical bills

University of Virginia Health System (UVA Health) has gone after patients’ homes to pay for medical bills. Kaiser Health News reports:

UVA Health and other medical systems rarely force the sale of a home to claim money. Instead, they wait for families to refinance or sell, taking their cut at the settlement table. But with 6% simple interest accumulating year after year after the court judgment, as allowed by Virginia law, the final amount owed can be much more than the original charges…
Creditors such as UVA and VCU don’t need addresses to create liens. All they have to do is file a judgment in county or city land records. If debtors own any property there, title companies won’t approve a sale until the debt is paid, often with home equity.
Often owners don’t know debts exist until paralegals unearth them when homes are sold, property pros say. Old debts can create liens on newly acquired real estate.

The UVA Health approach contrasts with VCU Health–another large, state-owned medical system. VCU Health pledged in March 2020 to stop seizing patients’ wages and to remove all property liens for patients with unpaid medical bills,

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