Many people call our bankruptcy law firm wanting to know how to handle current or pending debts, especially medical bills. Understandably, it can be difficult to know when to move forward with a bankruptcy filing. With debts mounting and creditors moving forward on things like foreclosures and repossessions simultaneously, it is best to seek professional services.
Speaking with an attorney can make it easier to schedule the timing. Here are some general facts about the timing of filing in relation to mounting medical bills.
Should I delay my bankruptcy to include all medical bills?
The answer depends on the extenuating circumstances and how much pressure a person is feeling to file for bankruptcy in order to eliminate debts. If possible, it is wise to wait until one pays the medical bills to include them. If this is not possible, filing for bankruptcy can still be beneficial.
It is important to note that debts charged within the 60 or 70 days prior to filing for bankruptcy may not be included in the bankruptcy filing because the court could view them as fraudulent, or see the purchases as something the borrower never intended to pay for. However, medical bills do not fall in this category. Medical bills are related to treatment for health conditions and are not frivolous or optional.
As such, they are precluded from being included in the category of things that could lead to a recapture of funds when making a payment. In other words, no one needs to worry that they will appear to be committing fraud by seeking medical care.
Waiting to file
Anyone who waits a month or two to file for bankruptcy can benefit from including those medical bills in the filing. This is the main reason to slow down the process – make sure to include everything.
Risks of filing early
Filing for bankruptcy too soon can be harmful because once it has been filed and approved by the court, it cannot be amended. That means that you will need to pay the medical bills. They will not be wiped out or reduced through the process, which can be financially devastating. As the bills grow, so will the debt collector calls. This makes the timing of filing incredibly important.
Anyone who is considering it should speak with an attorney to get more detailed information. The bottom line is that new debts cannot be included in the bankruptcy filing once the court has approved it. For this reason, it is necessary to be certain that all debts are included.
Also, note that it is not possible to quickly file for bankruptcy after one has been approved. In other words, you cannot file for bankruptcy and then file again two years later. This means that medical bills that are not discharged initially will remain on the credit report, etc.
Speak with a lawyer
Get help from an attorney by scheduling a consultation today. It is important to speak with a lawyer and gain a full understanding of bankruptcy, prior to filing for it.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.