Will filing for bankruptcy clear my medical bills?

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Question:

My wife was sick for a long period of time and we ran up a huge amount of debt to medical providers.  Will filing bankruptcy get rid of these medical bills?

Answer:

A recent study by the American Journal of Medicine estimates that medical bankruptcies affect nearly two million Americans each year.  Of those who filed for bankruptcy, nearly 80 percent had health insurance.  Depending on whether you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, medical bills can either be eliminated altogether or reduced to pennies on the dollar.

If you have significant medical bills, filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will eliminate your medical bills completely which may include:

  • Hospital charges
  • Doctor bills
  • Medical collections
  • Dental bills

These are all considered unsecured debt and are treated in bankruptcy just like credit cards.  If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a court supervised repayment plan will allow you to keep your important property while repaying your debts over a 3 to 5 year period of time.  You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to find out which type of bankruptcy may be best for your particular situation.

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