Oklahoma Medical Bankruptcy Attorneys can help you if you’re facing medical bills that are overwhelming you. One of the most common reasons our clients cite for filing bankruptcy is medical debt. It is a leading source of financial hardship and struggle nationwide. For many people drowning in medical debt, bankruptcy is a way to start over and build a better financial future.
Medical debt is somewhat different from most other forms of unsecured debt. There are several reasons for this. First, medical debt is usually not a choice. Most people can choose to purchase something with a credit card or to take out a payday loan. Medical procedures tend to happen whether people want them or not. No one chooses to have a car accident or a heart attack, but the doctor bills come just the same. Further, even with good insurance (much less without insurance), out of pocket costs can be staggering. For those who do not, or cannot, plan ahead financially, a serious accident or illness can cause financial ruin.
Bankruptcy and the Unique Problem of Medical Debt
Though medical debt is a leading cause of bankruptcy, it does present a unique problem when preparing a bankruptcy. Unlike most forms of debt, medical debt does not appear on a credit report. Though, there are some exceptions. For instance, if it passes to a third party debt collector. It can be difficult to account for all of a person’s medical debt when filing. This is simply because there is generally no central place reporting it all. If a person has several different doctors or specialists, it can be very difficult to track down a bill for each one.
In most cases, this is more an annoyance than an actual problem. In most Chapter 7 cases, none of the creditors receive any payment. Therefore, all dischargable debts will discharge. But in a case where creditors do receive payment, leaving out creditors can be a serious problem. In those cases, a creditor who was left out would at least be entitled to what they would have received had they been included.
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Medical Debt and Timing in Bankruptcy
The other major problem with medical debt is that it can be sometimes be difficult to determine the right time to file. Bankruptcy only addresses debts that come from before the case files. If the medical debts are from routine procedures, or a one time accident like a car accident or a slip and fall, then it is fairly easy to determine when all the bills have been generated. Therefore, it helps to determine when a person should file to discharge all of them. But in a case where there is a longer term issue like cancer, an injury that will require multiple surgeries, or a chronic condition, it becomes a much more difficult question. A person must balance wanting immediate debt relief versus the prospect of acquiring more medical debt–that cannot discharge–after the bankruptcy files.
Finally, if medical debt passes on to a third party collection agency, that presents its own set of issues. Companies specializing in medical debt collection are often the most aggressive in pursuing payment. They do not hesitate to make badgering phone calls, send threatening letters, or file lawsuits to get the payment they want. This not only increases the stress on the person in debt but can lead to wage or bank account garnishment due to lawsuits.
Help From Oklahoma Medical Bankruptcy Attorneys
If you have significant medical debt that you are struggling to pay, it may be time to consider bankruptcy. Call our Oklahoma medical bankruptcy attorneys today for help. Don’t let the pressure from medical bill cause you to suffer more health problems. Each year millions of Americans suffer overwhelming debt that’s the result of medical bills that they just cant pay. Don’t go it alone call our Bankruptcy law firm and lets get this taken care of. 918.739.8984