If you are struggling to pay your medical bills, it may be possible to have them eliminated by filing for bankruptcy. In addition to obtaining debt relief in a timely manner, you will likely be entitled to an automatic stay of creditor collection activities by doing so. In most cases, the stay goes into effect as soon as your petition is received by a North Carolina bankruptcy judge.
How long does a bankruptcy proceeding take?
It usually takes about six months to obtain a discharge in a Chapter 7 proceeding. Filing for a liquidation bankruptcy may be in your best interest if you have few nonexempt assets and can pass the means test. In some cases, it may be possible to eliminate your medical debt without having any of your assets liquidated. If you file for Chapter 13 protection, you’ll need to repay creditors over a period of up to five years. However, you will be able to keep a home, car or other property during the repayment period.
What other variables should you consider?
To qualify for Chapter 13 protection, your unsecured debts may not exceed $419,275. Furthermore, unsecured creditors are entitled to receive at least as much as they would have if you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney may be able to talk more about how your overall financial picture might influence any strategy to eliminate existing medical debt.
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, it’s generally a good idea to have an attorney help with your case. An attorney may be able to ensure that documents are filled out correctly, are accurate to the best of your knowledge and are filed in a timely manner.