If I continue with my medical treatment, will the debts be dischargeable in bankruptcy? 16 Answers as of August 31, 2015

I am in the midst of medical treatment that is, without a doubt, saving my life. That said, it is not covered by my insurance and I am racking up credit card debt to pay for treatment, to the tune of $100,000 so far. I am starting to get nervous about the debt payments. I don't want to commit fraud but I can't stop treatment, either.

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Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Keep getting treatment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/2/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
All medical bills you incur prior to filing the petition would be dischargeable. Any incurred after you file your petition would not discharge.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 2/25/2015
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
No. You will be unable to continue incurring debt after you file bk. You wind have the credit cards any more. If you have more treatment you'll have to pay it. Post bk filing debt is not part of the bk.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 2/25/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
Generally, you can only discharge debts which you owed as of the date you filed your petition. One exception: if there is a necessary debt which you will amend your plan to pay in full you can sometimes add it under a particular section of Chapter 13. I suggest you discuss this with your lawyer. If you have been representing yourself in the Ch. 13 case, you would do well by retaining an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to assist you. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 2/25/2015
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
Medical debt isn't subject to claims of fraud like credit card debt is. After all, you didn't get sick on purpose for the sole point of not paying the creditor.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 2/25/2015
    You would have no trouble discharging these debts in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 2/25/2015
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
    You can discharge medical debt in bankruptcy. Continue your treatment and after you have recovered and you are not able to afford to pay back the medical debt on your credit cards, then file bankruptcy so you can get a fresh financial start. Best of luck to you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/25/2015
    Michael J. Duggar, P.A.
    Michael J. Duggar, P.A. | Michael J. Duggar
    I am sorry to hear about your medical issues and wish you success in your medical treatments. I had a client who had to go to France to receive a special back surgery prior to filing his Bankruptcy (his bankruptcy sailed through successfully). Please remember, if the debt is from a hospital they can NEVER refuse to treat you, but if the debt is from a personal physician, while you can discharge their bill, they can refuse to treat you in the future. I always advise no bankruptcy until the entire treatment has been completed, and you may continue to pay the private physician even if your mean bankruptcy attorney makes you list them in your case. You will need a significant period of time from the date of last use of your credit cards before you file your case. You might not even file the bankruptcy until such time as one of the credit card companies files a lawsuit against you. The good news is that most medical debt is not aggressively pursued like your credit card debt will be. Filing Chapter 7 to deal with medical debt is quite common. Just remember, you won't have credit available once you file the case so if you need the credit for medical purposes, use it before you file the case. Again, best wishes for a safe and speedy recovery.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/25/2015
    That would be a yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/31/2015
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    If you are using the credit cards with the intent of filing bankruptcy the creditors have an argument for fraud. You would not want to file bankruptcy for a while after you are done with using your cards.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/25/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Bankruptcy only discharges debts that exist on the day you file. So if you're expecting more expenses, don't file now. Wait until your treatment is complete and then file. Another thing to consider is that credit card companies aren't big on giving their customers discounts - after all, if you owe a credit card company $10,000, that means that they gave $10,000 of their money to the hospital, doctors, pharmacy etc. And they want it back. Credit card companies make their money by getting all their money back plus some interest and fees. If you owe the hospital $10,000, they maybe only had a out of pocket cost of $1,000. For example, if you have an xray - the hospital already has the xray machine, already had to pay the xray tech for the day, already had the radiologist on staff who read the xray. They'd go broke if they gave it to everybody for $2,000 (because they do have to pay for the machine, the tech and the doc in the long run) but as long as most people pay the $10,000, if they get $2,000 from you it's still $1,000 more than their out of pocket expense. Hospitals have huge fixed costs and their profits come from covering their marginal costs on every service and getting a contribution to their fixed costs (the whole "nonprofit" thing is just propaganda to get a tax exemption and other handouts - any organization that doesn't make a profit is out of business). So don't pay the hospital with your credit cards, tell them your situation and make deals with them. Doctors and pharmacies don't have the massive revenues, tax exemptions and subsidies that hospitals get, so they can't afford to cut your bills much. Since hospitals get tax exemptions and subsidies that are literally billions of dollars, they are sensitive to the bad publicity of collecting from people who can't afford it.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/25/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You are treading a fine line, you should seek counsel regarding the ultimate results of your clearly necessary action.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/25/2015
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    Your situation is hardly unique although it is heartbreaking to be faced with such a dilemma. As a point of reference, a study prepared by the U.S. Senate found that 54% of all bankruptcies are caused in whole or in part by medical debt. That said, you should continue your treatment and when you are through, sit down and assess whether you can realistically repay what you owe. If the answer is no, you have every right to file a bankruptcy petition and discharge those debts. There are rules about how much secured debt you have that dictate whether you must file under Chapter 7, 11 or 13, but all of that can wait until you're healthy. At that point, sit down with a competent bankruptcy professional to advise you about your options. Best of luck with your treatment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2015
    John W. Lee, PC
    John W. Lee, PC | Kim A. Lewis
    I would recommend that you wait to file bankruptcy until your treatment is finished. There should be no issue of fraud.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 2/25/2015
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk | Andrew Oostdyk
    When you file Bankruptcy, the debts owed on the date of filing are the debts that will be discharged. Any debts incurred after the filing date will not be discharged, and you will be liable for them.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/25/2015
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    If the treatments are in fact saving your life, there is no reason the bills cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. If it were purely cosmetic surgery, then you might be accused of fraud. You do need a good explanation why it is not covered by your insurance, however.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/25/2015
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