You were ill and needed to go to the hospital for emergency care. You stayed there for weeks, and only just now are you well enough to start getting back to your normal life.
You knew that your bills would be high, but you never expected them to be as devastating as they are. You owe tens of thousands of dollars for your care, and you can’t even work to support paying it back.
What should you do?
Bankruptcy could be an option for medical debt relief
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one option that could help you get out of medical debt and back on track. When medical debt is so overwhelming, Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives you the option to have that debt discharged. You will need to meet the requirements to file, but once you do, all unsecured debts, including your medical debt, could be completely discharged.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy, but that doesn’t mean that you will lose all your assets. Usually, there are exemptions to help you keep things like your primary vehicle or a normal amount of clothing.
How long does it take to discharge medical debt?
That will depend on your specific case, but there are a few things you’ll need to do before the case can be discharged. For example, you will have to go through credit counseling and may need time to go through the process of identifying your assets, looking over exemptions and more.
A general discharge of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes around four to six months, though it may happen more quickly or less quickly depending on the case.
If you believe that a bankruptcy may be an option for you, it’s a good idea to collect all the information you can about your debts and income, so you can discuss your options. There are other alternatives, like negotiating down debt or consolidating it, but a bankruptcy may be the better choice depending on the circumstances that you’re in. This is something to consider carefully before you decide how to move forward and handle the debt.