Chapter 7 bankruptcy may discharge most consumer debts including your outstanding medical bills. According to the U.S. Census data, about one out of every five U.S. households has unpaid medical debts.
As reported by Credit.com, health care expenses contributed to nearly 67% of bankruptcy petitions submitted in 2019. If you paid for your family’s health care treatments with credit cards, the court may discharge these debts regardless of their amounts.
When could medical debts end up in collections?
Medical bills may contain errors. Professionals estimate that 80% of statements have at least one mistake. Insurance companies, for example, may not have paid for all the services that your health care plan covers.
By not fixing an incorrect balance, however, a bill may end up in collections. The Fair Credit Reporting Act’s 2016 amendment, known as the Medical Debt Relief Act, requires collectors to wait a minimum of 180 days before reporting unpaid medical bills to the major credit bureaus.
How may I include medical bills in a bankruptcy?
As reported by NerdWallet, you may file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on passing the means test. If you earn less than the median income for the state of Maryland, you may file a petition and include your medical debts.
In 2020, the average annual income for a Maryland household of four did not exceed $130,252. If your household consists of four and you earn less than this, you may qualify to discharge your debts through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
While it may seem wrong to pursue medical debts when ill individuals recover, collection agents may file lawsuits when they legally can. If you have received notices threatening to garnish your wages, you may wish to review whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.