Personal Bankruptcy Dental Bills
If you've got mounting medical bills and you're worried about your ability to pay, you've no doubt wondered whether you might find relief in personal bankruptcy. Dental bills are dischargeable in some types of bankruptcy cases– and that can be good news if you're dealing with creditors.
Is bankruptcy the right solution for you? You can receive a free, no-obligation evaluation from a bankruptcy attorney near you. To speak with a lawyer about your specific situation, please fill out this case review form.
Dentist's Bills in Bankruptcy
So how do dental bills generally work in a bankruptcy filing? Here are the basics.
- Chapter 13: In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, filers get a chance to catch up on debts they've fallen behind on, thanks to a three- to five-year repayment plan and the bankruptcy court's ability to forgive certain unsecured debts. Dental bills are considered unsecured (because debt collectors can't take back your teeth if you don't pay), so if you adhere to your Chapter 13 repayment plan, you may be able to have your dental bills discharged at the end of your case. Chapter 13 is typically helpful for those with debts like mortgage debt or a car loan, or who have a steady income but need help organizing a repayment plan.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy: In Chapter 7, filers are granted a full discharge of some of all of their unsecured debts – which would, of course, include dental bills. Chapter 7 cases tend to move quickly and work well for filers who have relatively low incomes and few or no non-exempt assets they want to protect from the court.
Will Personal Bankruptcy Eliminate My Dental Bills?
So how do you know whether personal bankruptcy may be able to get you relief from your dental bills? Here are some facts about how medical costs work in bankruptcy.
- Bankruptcies due to medical bills are rising: With tens of millions of Americans uninsured or under-insured, it's no surprise that many bankruptcy filers cite medical or dental bills as one of their main reasons for needing personal bankruptcy protection.
- Dental bills generally considered low-priority: The bankruptcy court ranks debts according to how important it is for a filer to repay them. The most important debts, like child support, alimony, tax debts and student loans, are considered most important and are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy court. Secured debts like home mortgages and car loans are next in line, and unsecured debts (including dental bills and credit card bills) are considered least important. The court can legally excuse a filer from paying those debts.
- Qualifying for Chapter 7 protection: In order to get the sweeping debt relief that Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides, you have to qualify under a means test designed prove that you don't have sufficient income to make regular payments in a Chapter 13 case.
Learn More about Personal Bankruptcy & Dental Bills from a Lawyer
If you’re ready to find out whether personal bankruptcy may indeed help you eliminate your dental bills, connect with a bankruptcy lawyer near you. To speak with an attorney, you can take advantage of this opportunity to arrange a free legal consultation. Simply fill out the case review form below to get started now.