You owe $350,000 in medical bills and they are coming after you. Maybe they will try to take out your stitches, or your artificial knee. Maybe they’ll call the drug stores and try to keep you from buying ibuprofen. Or, possibly your worst nightmare, you are seriously hurt in an accident, are rushed to the hospital and they refuse to see you and dump you out in the street where you unceremoniously writhe in pain as the rain pelts your immobile body.
Ughhhhhh. Ugly sight. And not one that will happen—hospitals will make certain that you are taken care of. But what about those overwhelming medical bills?
I have read reports that medical bills are the primary cause of bankruptcy. While I dispute these numbers, I cannot dispute the burden of medical bills on many of our thousands of clients. Just this week, one of our clients came in with the $350,000 in medical bills mentioned above, and no realistic way of paying that amount.
So what solutions does a bankruptcy filing hold? Very often, good solutions. Once we have thoroughly reviewed your situation, we will see if either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy might help. It could be that, with the limited amount of assets and income that you have, you can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This would discharge – that is, get rid of – all of your medical bills. And don’t worry: if you need emergency care, you will still be able to get it.
It could be that your assets and/or income allows you to pay some money to your medical bills but not all that you owe. If this is the case, we would look at a Chapter 13 payment plan. It could be that you can afford, say, $400 per month over a five-year period. If so, you would pay into the Court $24,000 over that five years, and the remainder of the debt would be discharged. Or it could be that you have assets that allow you to pay $48,000 to the Court. If so, your payment to the Court could be about $800 per month, and the remainder of the debt would be discharged. Compare either of the above figures to how much it would cost you to pay $350,000 in five years without interest. That would be $5,833 per month, if you are counting.
So if you are bogged down with medical bills, or any bills, you owe it to yourself to talk with us about your situation. It’s better than bleeding debt.