Thousands of dollars per year are spent on medical care. The cost of healthcare is an astronomical problem in this country. One of the main factors in bankruptcy, is in fact, overwhelming medical bills. If you are looking for ways to reduce or eliminate medical debt, you may want to find out your options. A compassionate, knowledgeable attorney can help you through this process. The Lauterbach Law Firm has been providing quality legal services for decades. To discuss your situation with a New City, New York Bankruptcy Attorney, contact us today.
What is medical debt?
Medical debt is any healthcare costs collected by an individual, that remain outstanding. The problem with the high cost of healthcare in America is combined with the irrefutable need to obtain that care. What if you develop a painful infection, want to have children or your child becomes ill? Unfortunately, the system might push you into debt as you receive the care you need. Patients are being flooded with debt on a large scale. The problem becomes more extreme for individuals who lack healthcare options, are living below the poverty line, or are suffering from chronic illnesses.
Having a large amount of debt is debilitating. It could prevent you from paying other necessary bills, securing a mortgage, saving for retirement, or investing in your children’s educations. Furthermore, it could eat up your savings and cause you additional stress and worry. If you are experiencing the pain of an illness or injury, the debt becomes an additional source of hardship. A knowledgeable and compassionate lawyer can help you discover better options if you find yourself in this dire situation.
How can bankruptcy help?
Medical debts are generally considered nonpriority unsecured debts. This means that they are not backed by any type of collateral or asset. There are two primary types of bankruptcy through which you may discharge medical debt. They are as follows:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: This is also called liquidation bankruptcy. In this case, a bankruptcy trustee would sell some of your eligible assets to pay off the debt to the creditors. It usually takes about four to six months. When it is over, you are released from the medical debt. Various variations could occur and it is usually for individuals who have little to no funds to repay.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: In this case, you would create a plan to repay the debt. This could be done over the course of three to five years. This is sometimes called wage earner’s bankruptcy.
If you are thinking that you want to take this step to pay off your medical debt, it is important to know all your options and carefully assess if bankruptcy is the best option for you. You should discuss your situation with an attorney that will support you through this difficult time.