Los Angeles Medical Debt Lawyers
Americans spend trillions of dollars on medical care each year, so it is no surprise that so many are weighed down by medical debt. Even if you have health insurance, you are likely paying for a percentage of your care, and anyone who suffers a stroke or a chronic condition can rack up thousands of dollars with no way of paying.
At Wadhwani & Shanfeld, our Board-Certified Bankruptcy specialists know how to tackle debt. The good news is that medical debt is a type of unsecured debt which is easy to eliminate in bankruptcy. Contact our Los Angeles medical debt lawyer to discuss your debt in more detail and find out which bankruptcy is best.
Wipe Out Your Medical Debt
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a convenient way to eliminate medical debt along with other qualifying debts, like credit cards and personal loans. Not everyone can apply. Your discretionary income needs to be sufficiently low, so you need to pass a means test. However, once qualified, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is straightforward for most people. Our law firm can complete the paperwork and file it correctly in court. The entire process takes under 6 months for most people.
A Chapter 7 has some downsides. If you have large amounts of property, you could lose some of it. The trustee will take non-exempt assets and give them to your creditors so they are not completely wiped out. Still, this is an excellent option if you qualify.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also help with medical debt. This is a wage earner’s bankruptcy, so you can only apply if you have a steady stream of income. You will repay creditors over three to five years. At the end of this repayment period, unpaid debts are eliminated. The advantage of a Chapter 13 is that you won’t lose property. However, you will essentially need to pay your creditors the value of non-exempt property over the course of your payment plan.
Although bankruptcy is a great option for many, it’s not the right choice for everyone. A bankruptcy will stay on your credit history for years, whereas some credit reporting bureaus no longer include medical debt on credit reports. Our lawyers will help you consider other options, like debt management or negotiation. Your medical debt, although burdensome, might be manageable and something you can ultimately pay off if the creditor agrees to write down some of the debt.
Call Our Firm to Talk about Your Medical Debt
The cost of medical care continues to increase at an unsustainable pace. At our firm, we will discuss your legal options including when to file for bankruptcy, if that is your goal. If you file too soon, then some of your medical bills won’t be included, and you’ll need to wait years before you can file for bankruptcy again. Timing is critical and something we always talk about with our clients. Call us to speak with our Los Angeles medical debt lawyer about available legal options.