What happens if I can no longer pay my bills? 20 Answers as of August 25, 2011

I am a week from turning 19 years of age. I am pretty much completely relying on my parents. I am a student and can not afford any thing on my part-time job. I recently had surgery to repair my hip so I could walk with out crucial pain. I have student tuition, and medical bills, a few that have already been sent to collections. My parents barely hold on and pay my bills as best as they can. It has recently come to my attention that a growing conflict in my family might leave me screwed with unpaid bills and no funds to even afford payments. If I knew I couldn't depend any longer on my parents I would never have gone through with doctors and school. My parents are on the verge of dropping me loose with no reason besides some personal harsh feelings. I am wondering since I am 18 and legally responsible for these bills, do I have any choice but to be completely screwed?

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
the CC and medical debt can be discharged. student loans prob not. you are young, this will have a negative impact on your credit so think hard whether you want to do this.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/25/2011
Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
Any debt that is in your name, you are legally responsible for. Being that you are only 19 years old, you may not want to file bankruptcy so young because it will most likely stay on your credit report for the next 7-10 years or so. If you have some income, and depending on how much total debt you owe, you may be able to afford either settlement or payment arrangements with your creditors. If you don't pay the bills that you are legally required to pay, they can go into collections, which may result in collections lawsuits against you. Lawsuits can eventually become judgments and judgments can be enforced by garnishing your wages, placing a lien against your property or levying your bank account. Judgments also carry 10% interest rate so the balances of the account(s) may grow. They also last about 10 years and can be renewed. On the other hand, if your creditors do not sue you but just refer the account to collections, you should know that the statute of limitations on an open ended account is 4 years from the date you last paid it. That means that if they don't obtain a judgment before the statute of limitations has run, then you may be able to assert that as a defense to any further collections actions they can take. That may be your best bet if you cannot work things out with them on a payment arrangement. If they attempt to sue you and obtain judgments, then you should seriously consider filing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/28/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
I'm glad you had the surgery. Life with pain is no life. You can file bankruptcy. Student loans aren't dischargeable unless you can't work at all. Medical bills and credit card bills are dischargeable. But please see a lawyer for help with filing; otherwise you could screw yourself and cost yourself a lot more than a lawyer would charge.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 7/26/2011
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
You probably qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge of your debts.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/25/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Sounds like some very tough circumstances. You need to sit down with a lawyer, your question is well written, but there might be some additional facts. You can file bankruptcy if necessary, but you also might be eligible for medical. The student loan debt you will be stuck with. Try to get that paid before anything else. The interest will eat you a live.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/25/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    You are most likely judgment proof and your credit rating cannot get any worse. A bankruptcy is an option but at this point in time it's not a necessity.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Cartwright Law Firm
    Cartwright Law Firm | Andrea Cartwight
    It is very unfortunate that you are experiencing financial problems at such a young age. Once you become of legal age (18) then your parents are no longer legally responsible for paying any of your expenses including necessary expenses like medical. Since you have very little resources without relying on your parents, then filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be your best choice. The majority of people who are forced to file for bankruptcy is due to the large mounting of medical expenses. There are certain types of debts that cannot be discharged through bankruptcy like student loans, child and spousal support, most taxes, fines and restitution. It is important that you seek an experience bankruptcy attorney who would be knowledgeable about the law and who can guide you through this difficult time.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    Dearbonn Law Offices
    Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
    If you cannot pay your bills, you owe money and your creditors will forward your case to collections agencies to collect from you. Besides, some of your creditors may obtain a money judgment against you. These may affect your ability to secure a good job in the future. Find a way to pay your bills.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    Unplanned medical bills are the number one reason in my office that clients choose to file bankruptcy. You can receive counsel from almost any bankruptcy attorney for free to help you decide whether filing under Chapter 7 will resolve your financial difficulties.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    If you have regular income you can file a chapter 13 payment plan. If not, you can file chapter 7. Some debts are not dischargeable, such as student loans.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    Under New York State law, parents are responsible for supporting their child until the child is 21 years old. You may be able to get a child support order to pay for these obligations which should be paid by your parents, in addition to food, housing, clothing, etc... You need to make an appointment with an experienced family lawyer near you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton | Daniel Moulton
    Your answer depends on a variety of factors not disclosed, such as income, amount and type of debt, etc. Any person 18 and over can file bankruptcy if they meet the conditions.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    You need to seek Council. Who signed for your medical bills?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    A bankruptcy may be an option for you but it will probably not help with the student loans unless you meet one of the few execptions.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    How much are the debts? Perhaps bankruptcy is a viable option for you. Not only will it get rid of your debts, but it might take the pressure off of your parents a bit and improve relations all around. I'd talk to a bankruptcy attorney and see if this is a viable option for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    Advanced Litigation Services
    Advanced Litigation Services | Joseph Iarussi
    You should consider bankruptcy. Filing for protection under the bankruptcy code will eliminate a significant amount of unsecured debt.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    You can file bankruptcy and discharge your debts. As to the rest of situation I can't advise you. David S. Van Dyke Attorney at Law 2155 W March Lane, Suite 3E Stockton, CA 95207
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You may be able to eliminate all or most of the debt in bankruptcy. See a good bankruptcy lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    You are responsible for your debts. You may be able to discharge the debts in bankruptcy - apart from the student loan debts which are not dischargable.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/23/2011
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