Can they make my husband pay hospital bills if his bankruptcy has already been finalized? 19 Answers as of October 30, 2013

My husband filed bankruptcy on hospital bills and it has been finalized. They are trying to make me pay these bills.

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Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
You husbands bk filing protects your community property only. You may be separately liable.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 10/30/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
The discharge protects your husband from collection of medical bills. It may not protect you.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 10/30/2013
Law Office of Shawn N. Wright | Shawn N. Wright
I am presuming that you are asking about Pennsylvania law, because my answer will be strictly confined to PA residents. For all I know, the law is different in other states. If your husband's bankruptcy was discharged and the relevant medical bills were discharged by the Court, then the hospitals shouldn't be allowed to assert their claims against you. Hospitals in Pa do try to collect on spouses though, using the common-law doctrine known as "spousal necessities". I personally have never seen any other type of creditor try to use the doctrine of spousal necessities to collect against a spouse. For example, if your husband had owed on, let's say, a Citibank credit card that was in his name alone, then I couldn't imagine that Citibank would ever try to collect from you on your husband's debt. But, hospitals do try, however they don't try very hard. I've had clients in exactly the same situation you're in who have simply been adamant that they were not liable, and the hospitals never followed up. The last time I did legal research on this matter, there simply weren't any modern-day court cases that had been decided on this area of law (doctrine of spousal necessities) in Pennsylvania. So, I would simply advise a client in your situation to ignore the hospital and not take their collections calls. If the hospitals ever take legal action however, then you need to get an attorney to respond to them. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 10/30/2013
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
If you co signed that debt then you are still liable regardless of your husbands bankruptcy
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/30/2013
Law Office of Michael Johnson
Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
Not if you properly noticed them. You should consult an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 10/29/2013
    CoverLaw
    CoverLaw | Jim Cover
    Are you still married and living together? Did you have a separate property agreement? If you are still married and together and do not have a separate property agreement and the debts were pre petition obligations listed on your husbands petition you should have the protection of the community discharge as to your community assets including earnings etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    Law Offices Of M.Azhar Asadi | M.Azhar Asadi
    Debts are treated like property, so your husband's hospital bills are community property. As to his share of the community property debt it can not be collected by operation of bankruptcy laws. As part that belongs to you it may not be part of the bankruptcy protection and can be collected .But the exact answer depends on how he filed his petition.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    McMahan Law Firm
    McMahan Law Firm | Van D. McMahan
    Not if they were incurred prior to the bankruptcy petition being filed and you listed the hospital creditors on the petition.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    It may be that you owe it if you received the medical service. You did not file bankruptcy I take it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/29/2013
    SmithMarco, P.C.
    SmithMarco, P.C. | Larry P. Smith
    This really depends on what the bill is for and who the treatment was for. If it is for him, then no, it cannot be your bill to pay when he declares bankruptcy. If it were a lifesaving matter, then arguably, they can claim it was a family expense. If it was for a child, then they can go after either one of you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    Niketas & Clark, LLP
    Niketas & Clark, LLP | Alexia K. Niketas
    If your husband's medical bills were incurred prior to the filing of his bankruptcy, and if your husband was solely responsible for those bills, then no, those medical debts should have been discharged in his bankruptcy and he should no longer be billed for those charges. You can contact the hospital/medical offices who are attempting to collect on those bills and give them your husband's bankruptcy case number or even send them a copy of his discharge order from the bankruptcy court. That should stop the collection attempts. Just keep in mind that any expenses incurred after the bankruptcy filing would not be discharged as well as anything that was joint debt (debt in both his and your name) they can still collect against you if your name was tied to the debt and you did not file bankruptcy/did not file jointly with your husband.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    They can't make your husband pay his medical bills if he discharges them in bankruptcy but if you didn't file bankruptcy, they can make you pay for them. Spouses are always responsible for paying for each others medical debts if the medical care was necessary. So you probably wouldn't have to pay for his facelift or tummy tuck, but you pay for everything else, no matter what.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    In the State of Texas, Section 3.201 of the Family Code provides that a spouse is liable for the debts of the other spouse incurred for necessaries, like doctor or hospital bills, food, clothing, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    Elkington Law
    Elkington Law | Sally Elkington
    There is no co-debtor stay in a Chapter 7 and no co-debtor discharge in a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13. So if you are also legally responsible for the debts, then the creditor can come after you for payment. You should check back with the bankruptcy attorney who filed your husband's bankruptcy to make sure you have legal responsibility for the debts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    If you were the co-debtor, yes they can try to make you pay.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    SM Law Group, APC
    SM Law Group, APC | John D. Sarai
    If you were joint on the bills and have not filed bankruptcy, then you are responsible for them since your husband no longer is. If you were never responsible for these in any way, then you may want to speak to an attorney about how to stop their collection attempts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    Hospital bills incurred after the filing of bankruptcy will still have to be paid, even if the bankruptcy was open. Anything owed before the date you file bankruptcy would be included. It would depend on when these bills were incurred. If before, you have a right to slap down the creditor. If after, you will have to pay them. Visit with your bankruptcy attorney, he can tell you more accurately your situation and the rights you possess.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    Your question first asks if "they" can make your husband pay. The answer to that is no, not if the bills are from services provided before his bankruptcy case was filed. Then you ask if "they" can make you pay. There is not enough information here to be able to answer that. Are the bills in your name as well? Did you sign to be responsible for his charges when he was admitted to the hospital? Is he covered under health insurance in your name? Lots of variables here. You might want to take the bills with you and consult with an attorney who can take a look and advise you properly.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/28/2013
    Stuart P Gelberg
    Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
    Your husband's obligation to pay for any services rendered to the date of the filing of the bankruptcy have been discharged. Your obligation to pay (if any) has not been discharged since you did not file.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/28/2013
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