When dealing with an ongoing illness or injury, you don't realize how quickly medical bills can add up. If you cannot handle the medical debt that you have, then one of your options is to file for bankruptcy. An attorney can help you through the process and give you guidance on the steps you need to take. If you still have an ongoing illness or injury, then there are four tips you should follow before filing. Use these tips when consulting with a professional lawyer.
Using bankruptcy to get out of your debt problems will not be a good solution if you will have additional debt accrue shortly after that. Whether it's an illness, injury, or other need like physical therapy, you should always put your health first. Get fully healthy and through all of your appointments. This will add to your bill and create a bigger debt, but it will be before you file and be included in your hearing instead of creating new debt as soon as the old debt is cleared.
Another way to prevent future debt is by taking care of your healthcare insurance and payment options. Look into the affordable healthcare act, seek out income-based medical services, and find ways to get free or discounted healthcare. For example, for basic care like teeth cleanings, you can look into student programs where dental students offer cleanings and treatments for affordable rates and sometimes free of charge.
Before you pull the trigger and file for bankruptcy, work with an attorney to contact medical companies and see any bill reduction options that you have. Many companies have a low income payment option in place. With this option, you may have your final bill adjusted based on your income. Once the adjustments are made, they can also apply to any future medical debt that you incur. This can help reduce payment amounts and make them more manageable. If you still cannot afford payments after the adjustments, then you can take steps to file for bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
If the medical bills are too daunting and have increased due to your recurring health problems, then you have two filing options to consider. If you're looking to eliminate all the debt and have a clean start, then consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To help pay off medical creditors, you may have to sell off assets like cars. If you want to try and make payments without losing your assets, then consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A bankruptcy lawyer can guide you through the breakdown of each type and your options moving forward.
Remember to focus on your health first before worrying about debt. It's important to keep yourself healthy and get past any injuries or illnesses you may have.