WHAT HAPPENS TO MEDICAL DEBTS IN BANKRUPTCY?
When you file a bankruptcy, you must list all of your debts, including medical bills. When you file a Chapter 7, the medical debts are wiped out, unless there is some type of fraud involved or for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity. They are not discharged unless you list them in your petition with the correct mailing address.
In Tennessee, medical bills for your spouse are considered your responsibility, too. You need to list those bill. If your spouse does not file, they are not wiped out as to the non-filing spouse.
When you file a Chapter 13, you must list the medical bills and the doctor, hospital or other medical provider will be paid a percentage of the debt based on your repayment to your unsecured creditors. The creditor must file a Proof of Claim form with the court to be paid. If they do not file the paperwork, they will not get paid.
After a Chapter 7 or 13 is filed, the medical provider is under no obligation to treat you again. But they also cannot ask you for repayment of the bills in the bankruptcy. Some medical providers understand bad things happen and will continue to treat you. After a Chapter 7, you can choose to repay a doctor in order to go back to them for treatment. This would be a voluntary payment after your discharge order is entered.
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