Medical Bills & Bankruptcy
Burnsville & St. Paul, MN Bankruptcy Lawyers
While there are several very common misconceptions about bankruptcy and the reason(s) that people file, two of the most common seem to be:
- That most people who file bankruptcy used their credit recklessly, and
- That most hospital bills and other medical related debts cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.
The fact is, medical bills CAN be discharged through bankruptcy, and they are the largest contributor to people filing for bankruptcy. An American Journal of Medicine article from 2009 stated that over half of all bankruptcies filed were due to medical bills, and that number is sharply on the rise.
What may be even more surprising is that most of the people who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance, but still were carrying large amounts of debt as a result of co-payments and or gaps in coverage. The trend seems to be sharply on the rise; in 2007 62% of bankruptcies were caused by health care expenses. Compare that to 46% in 2001 and only 8% in 1981. Of the people who filed for bankruptcy in 2007, nearly 80% of them had health insurance. People who did not have health insurance had an average medical bill of $27,000 while those who were insured had an average medical bill of $18,000.
Can You File Bankruptcy for JUST your medical bills?
In short, you can not. The U.S. Bankruptcy code aims to treat all debt, and the creditors who hold that debt fairly. Filing bankruptcy for only a certain type of debt, while continuing to pay the other debts would show preference to one debtor over another, which is not allowed. All debtors must be treated the same, so you can not pay back your other debts while discharging your health care debts since that would be preferential treatment to your other debtors.
Facing Large Debts Due to Medical Bills? We Can Help
At the Burnsville, Minnesota bankruptcy law office of Wendling Law Office, we help people understand their options for managing debt under the U.S. Bankruptcy code. If you are facing a large debt due to a health care issue, or if you have paid your health care costs with a credit card and are now seeing the interest pile up, we can help. Depending on your specific situation, you may be able to reduce or completely eliminate many of your outstanding debts.
We provide a free initial consultation to new clients and aim to make the entire process as easy on you as possible. We have meeting locations in Burnsville and St. Paul. For more information, call our Burnsville office at 952-894-2546 or click here to email us.
From our office in Burnsville, the experienced bankruptcy lawyers at Wendling Law Office can help you get rid of the debt from hospital bills and medical expenses. Whether you are having trouble with your credit card bills that you used to pay the medical expenses, or still have outstanding hospital debt related to medical procedures we can help.