Due to the global pandemic currently wracking our country, many Americans are finding themselves in the hospital. Medical bills can be difficult enough to handle in the best of times, and the added financial and emotional strain caused by COVID-19 is likely to make this issue even harder for families to handle without help.
Unfortunately, there is frequently a stigma against many of the tools available to give that help.
One tool that could offer your family some financial relief is bankruptcy. Our dedicated Brownsville bankruptcy lawyer at the Law Offices of Phillippe & Associates can tell you whether or not seeking bankruptcy protection can help you with your medical bills.
How Medical Bills Can Affect Your Finances
There are many reasons that Americans accrue medical debts, and there are many other reasons why those debts go unpaid. Oftentimes, individuals who become ill or injured do not have healthcare insurance either due to an inability to afford coverage or other factors, and thus they begin to accumulate medical bills.
Unfortunately, healthcare costs across the country are skyrocketing and there is little assistance to be had.
Once a person becomes ill or injured, their debts can mount very quickly — and if their illness is serious enough — they may be unable to work to make money. There is a myriad of fees and costs associated with being hospitalized, and treatment is often expensive and long-lasting. Chronic illnesses and disabilities can be particularly costly.
For many people, medical bills mount so high while so little income is coming in that bankruptcy becomes their best, if not their only, option.
Chapter 7 and Medical Bills
If you’re struggling with debt beyond what you’re able to pay, Chapter 7 may be a good financial option. Regarding medical bills specifically, Chapter 7 often allows filers to completely wipe out this form of debt.
Medical bills, dental bills, doctor bills, hospital charges, medical collections, and most other forms of medical debt are considered unsecured debt. Unsecured debt can be fully discharged through the Chapter 7 process.
Chapter 13 and Medical Bills
Chapter 13 is a type of bankruptcy that allows debtors to pay off their creditors over time, often with reduced monthly payments. Chapter 13 may be a good option for you if you don’t meet the means test to qualify for Chapter 7.
By filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to significantly reduce your medical debt. Usually, you will be able to pay off the debt over 3 to 5 years. Unsecured debts, including most medical debt, can also sometimes be paid off at significantly reduced costs.
The Law Offices Philippe and Associates: Your Brownsville Bankruptcy Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured, developed a disease, or been treated for COVID-19, you know how expensive healthcare can be.
These debts can be crushing for families, especially families already facing other financial concerns. This type of issue is compounded when the ill family member is someone who usually provides for the family.
Debt on top of an illness can feel overwhelming, but there are options for relief. If you’d like to learn about how bankruptcy might be able to help, contact the compassionate bankruptcy attorneys of the Law Offices of Phillippe and Associates.