Do you have a lot of unpaid medical bills that are becoming overwhelming? If so, you may be considering bankruptcy to discharge this unsecured debt. Here are some things to know about this debt and using bankruptcy to eliminate it.
You Can Only Discharge Medical Bills Received Before The Filing
If you plan on using bankruptcy to discharge medical bills for an ongoing injury, you may want to think again before doing so. Bankruptcy will only discharge the debts that you took on prior to the date that you file for bankruptcy. If you have ongoing medical issues that will still require treatment, any bills that come in after the bankruptcy filing will not be included.
As such, consider waiting until your medical issues are finished and you have received all your bills. If not, you'll be responsible for the bills that come in afterward. When you consider the delay regarding when medical bills can come in, it's crucial that you know for sure that you have no outstanding balance that still needs to be paid. Since you can't file for bankruptcy again until several years have passed, you may be stuck with the new bills for a long time.
Your Doctor May Decide To No Longer See You
One thing to keep in mind is that your current doctor may decide that they no longer want to see you if you file for bankruptcy. If you have an existing relationship with your doctor that you like, especially for an injury that is ongoing, then this can play a big role in if you want to file for bankruptcy. Doctors have the right to refuse services if you are not paying your bills, so this may come up sooner rather than later if you have a lot of outstanding medical bills.
When it comes to using the hospital and emergency room though, they will not be able to deny you service if you were to come in for an emergency if you have filed for bankruptcy. They are required to see all patients that come through their doors regardless of their medical bill status.
You May Want To Consider Debt Settlement
If you are hesitant to use bankruptcy because all you have are medical bills to discharge, then you may want to look into a debt settlement option. This is when you negotiate directly with the medical provider to pay a fraction of your bills so that they receive something rather than nothing. It will not impact your credit report in a negative way, and it would be similar to using Chapter 13 bankruptcy. To learn more, contact a bankruptcy law firm.