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Discharging Hospital Bills in Bankruptcy

With this month being the first for people to start shopping for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the question arises: Can individuals with outstanding hospital bills free themselves from paying these debts by filing bankruptcy? The answer is clearly yes. Some people who do not have health insurance and others whose policies are inadequate to pay their bills have the option of filing either Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 7 liquidation to achieve this result.

Findings from an organization called NerdWatch which analyzed CDC data, bankruptcy court filings, and data from the Commonwealth Fund, found that high medical bills have been the biggest reason people have been filing bankruptcy this year.  Approximately 2 million people will be affected by bankruptcies resulting from health care bills. Many of these people have insurance but the policies have high deductibles. While the total expected number of bankruptcies this year will total 1.7 million, the 2 million figure derived by NerdWatch included families affected by high bills.

The type of bankruptcy an individual should file may depend primarily on whether they are currently a wage-earner. Chapter 7 is preferable for people who do not have a job. In that type of bankruptcy the amount of funds that will be used to pay off creditors will be determined by some extent by the value of the debtor’s assets. Chapter 13 is available for those with higher income. In either event, hospital bills can be discharged.

To fully understand your options, you should consult with competent bankruptcy attorneys.  Here in Albuquerque, the attorneys at Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. specialize in bankruptcy and offer expert, dependable handling of bankruptcy matters, representing many people in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Raton, Farmington, Gallup, Grants, Roswell, Los Lunas, Placitas, Belen and the rest of New Mexico. We can remove the burden of worrying about these overwhelming hospital bills that are too costly to pay.

Our conveniently located office has ample free parking and is easily accessible by public transportation. We offer flexible office hours upon request. To make an appointment for a consultation about your bankruptcy options, contact us online or call us at (505) 633-6298. See more at

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