CALL NOW!
FREE PHONE/VIRTUAL CONSULTATION

What You Need to Know Before Filing for “Medical” Bankruptcy

Medical Bankruptcy Pasco, St Petersburg, And Tampa Florida.Medical Bankruptcy

Healthcare costs are one of the biggest expenses modern-day Americans face. It leads many people to wonder if medical bankruptcy is an option.

Even people who have health insurance often find themselves in serious debt after dealing with a medical crisis. And because of this, unpaid medical bills are one of the primary causes of bankruptcy.

Many people consider bankruptcy after a lifetime of otherwise perfect credit just because they suffered a serious illness or injury.

What should you know about medical bankruptcy and whether or not it might help you with your debt problems?

What is Medical Bankruptcy?

First, it’s important to understand that there really is no such thing as “medical bankruptcy.”

Bankruptcy is bankruptcy and differs only based on the chapters, which have more to do with your assets and overall financial situation.

Medical bankruptcy is an unofficial term describing what happens when a person is forced into bankruptcy due to medical debt. Between a quarter and half of all bankruptcies fall into this category.

The other thing that’s important to understand about filing for bankruptcy because of your medical bills is that it won’t just affect your medical bills. This can be positive or negative depending on your viewpoint.

Medical debt is treated the same as credit card debt, personal loans, and other debts that are directly affected by bankruptcy. This means if you file and you have other outstanding debts that qualify for discharge in addition to your medical debt that debt will be taken into account. All unsecured debt gets eliminated, even if your “problem” debt was medical.

Chapters of Bankruptcy and Medical Debt

When you file for bankruptcy, you’ll be listing all of your debts and all of your assets, regardless of their source or type. You must disclose everything about your financial situation and turn a significant amount of control over to the bankruptcy court. This occurs regardless of whether you only wanted to eliminate medical debt.

What the outcome of filing looks like depends on which chapter bankruptcy you choose. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many of your assets are liquidated and any remaining debt is discharged after creditors are paid from the proceeds of the liquidation. In Chapter 13, you commit to a repayment plan lasting three to five years, At the end of that period, any remaining unsecured debt is discharged.

To determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is right for you, you’ll discuss your situation with your bankruptcy attorney. He or she will administer a means test that lets you know for which chapter you qualify. You can learn more about the bankruptcy means test here.

How Does Bankruptcy Affect My Medical Situation?

The majority of bankruptcy issues are related to your finances. This includes how much you owe doctors and other medical care providers when you file because of medical debt.

But will filing for bankruptcy affect any other aspect of your healthcare situation?

It might.

One of the most common concerns people have when they file for bankruptcy based on their medical bills is whether or not they’ll need to find a new doctor or change anything about their medical care.

Congress partially addressed these concerns in 1986 with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. This law prevents hospitals from refusing to treat patients who are unable to pay.

However, this law does not always protect you against losing your doctor or your source of treatment. It also does not apply after a person files for bankruptcy.

Medical providers still have the option of refusing treatment to patients who have had debts owed to them discharged. This means if you owed your doctor money and it was discharged when you filed for bankruptcy, he or she can refuse to see you. This tends not to happen, but it’s a risk you need to consider before filing.

Repaying Medical Debt

It’s also important to realize that no laws prevent you from repaying any of your debts after filing for bankruptcy. Some people feel obligated to repay their debts despite the discharge received in bankruptcy. After filing, they can make payments without dealing with additional fees, interest, and penalties, or without making any official commitment.

This means if you want to pay a few dollars each month to your preferred doctor after your bankruptcy is complete, you are free to do so. Some people even find that filing for bankruptcy frees up money earmarked for other unsecured debts. After bankruptcy, they put that toward paying their physician, with whom they have a personal relationship. The lack of a credit card bill means they can pay their doctor.

If you’d like more information about filing for bankruptcy or you’re getting crushed by medical debt and you believe bankruptcy might be an option, we can help. Contact the bankruptcy Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 to schedule a free consultation.

Archive

Video Testimonials

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

Should I Refinance a Student Loan I Can’t Discharge in Bankruptcy?

Student loan debt is overwhelming many people. Could refinancing be the answer to help you avoid bankruptcy if your student...
Read More

Can Student Loan Consolidation Help You Avoid Bankruptcy?

One of the most common questions people have when they consider bankruptcy is “can student debt be discharged in bankruptcy?”...
Read More

Could There Be Changes on the Horizon for How Student Loan Debt is Handled in Bankruptcy?

If you’re wondering how to file for bankruptcy for student loan debt or you’re wondering if bankruptcy can help you...
Read More

Does Bankruptcy Clear Student Loan Debt?

Many people considering bankruptcy wonder “Does bankruptcy clear student loan debt?” Until recently, that answer was almost always “no.” But...
Read More

Will Student Loans Force You Into Bankruptcy? Here’s How a Student Loan Bankruptcy Attorney in Florida Can Help

If you’re struggling with student loan debt and not sure what comes next, a student loan bankruptcy attorney in Florida...
Read More

Have You Received a Letter from the IRS About a Tax Debt? Here’s What You Should Know Before Responding

Here's what you need to know if the IRS has contacted you about tax debt. Every year the IRS contacts...
Read More

Here’s How You Can Rebuild Your Credit

How do you repair this damage and rebuild your credit after filing for bankruptcy? Many people believe that filing for...
Read More

How Can You Practice Smart Credit Card Management after Bankruptcy?

How can you learn better credit card management after bankruptcy? Using credit after bankruptcy is an intimidating experience for many...
Read More

How Do You Improve Your Credit Score?

How do you improve your credit score? Here's what you need to know. Your credit score plays an important role...
Read More

Does Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Work?

Bankruptcy credit counseling helps you emerge from bankruptcy understanding credit management. People filing for bankruptcy must take two courses regarding...
Read More

Bankruptcy

For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More

Infographics

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay Online Bankruptcy Courses Newsletter Subscription

NACBA Logo avvo1 avvo2 avvo3 LEA BBB Logo RG Seal

Call For A Free Initial Consultation

813.254.5696

Tampa Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405

Map And Directions

St. Petersburg Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939

Map And Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320

Map And Directions