Posts Tagged ‘Medical Debt’

Medical Debt In Bankruptcy

March 13th, 2021

These days finding affordable healthcare can be quite challenging. Many people are uninsured or underinsured simply because they cannot afford to pay for health insurance. This becomes a big burden in the event an accident, illness or chronic medical condition develops. One of the most troublesome types of debts among Americans today, especially the elderly, is medical debt.

Rising Costs, Narrowing Options

As one of the largest sources of debt among people filing for bankruptcy, medical debt has become an issue of great concern. Many people find this situation to be stressful and may even lack the understanding of their options for relief. One option often overlooked is direct debt negotiations. While medical creditors may appear unwilling to negotiate, they can be won over quite easily with a little effort.

First, it is important to have an understanding of what you can afford to repay each month. Since medical debt rarely carries interest or penalty fees, even paying the minimum payments is a good strategy for repayment. Although it may take longer to repay the full amount owed, the creditor has little recourse as long as you are paying something.

Next, get in contact with the creditor and request payment assistance. Let them know you are experiencing a financial hardship and cannot afford a traditional payment structure. Often times, offering to set up an automatic payment system through a checking account can be your best bargaining tool. Creditors are often willing to lower payment requirements if they know they are guaranteed to receive a payment each month through an automatic payment system.

Financially Insolvent?

Luckily, medical debt is easily managed in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, giving debtors a chance at relief. Bankruptcy is a great weapon for anyone who cannot afford to repay their debts and has had no luck negotiating a successful deal with creditors. Once you file for bankruptcy, all collection efforts will stop and any further attempts to collect must go through the court first. This is often a welcomed sigh of relief for many debtors, who have been battling nasty collection calls for a while.

Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to have your debts erased completely at little to no cost in Chapter 7. However, with option is typically reserved for those with less than sufficient incomes. Chapter 13 can also help relieve medical debt by developing a more affordable repayment plan that your creditor must adhere to. The typical debtor can find relief from their medical debts in as little as two to three years, if not sooner.