It is impossible to be truly prepared for life’s emergencies, and one of the most devastating events that can happen to a family is a medical emergency requiring lengthy hospitalization. Even with insurance, the bills can become overwhelming and deplete whatever savings you may have. While many hospitals will work with patients on structured payments, sometimes the debt can be insurmountable. In cases like these, it might be in your best interests to pursue a medical bankruptcy.
What is Medical Bankruptcy
With the rise in the median age of the population, inflation, and other factors, medical costs have skyrocketed. As a result, over half of the bankruptcy claims that are filed each year are a result of healthcare expenses. Medical bankruptcy is not a separate type of bankruptcy in the eyes of the law; the individuals still file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the code governing personal bankruptcy.
Medical bankruptcy is not a legal term, and bankruptcy paperwork does not have a place to specify the reasons for filing. Filing for bankruptcy in the case of medical debt is possible because it is unsecured debt. Unlike property that can be taken by the bank, such as a house in the case of a mortgage, which is a secured debt. Bankruptcy allows you to discharge this debt, so you are no longer liable for paying it.
You can apply either for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy for medical debt. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are released from your debt after the courts have looked at which assets of yours are exempt and non-exempt from liquidation and have sold them off to repay the debt. Under Chapter 13, the courts work with you to structure a repayment plan from 3 to 5 years to discharge the portion of the debt they determine you are responsible for. Your eligibility for each type of bankruptcy depends on your income, housing situation, and other factors.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You With Medical Debts
When you are in the midst of a health crisis, the last thing you want to deal with are impossible debts and calls from collectors.
You are under enough stress. Consulting with a law firm with extensive experience in navigating bankruptcy law can help to take monetary concerns off your plate so you can concentrate on healing and caring for the ones you love.
No matter how exorbitant the debt or hopeless your situation may seem, there is always a solution. Rather than avoid the issues or simply hope for a magical solution, taking the step of talking to an experienced legal team. They can set you on your road to financial recovery while you heal.
Bankruptcy should be a last resort in any situation, and speaking to the hospital first about structuring repayment is always a good idea. If, after that, you are still unable to deal with the mountain of bills, we are definitely here to help you.