Falling back into debt after bankruptcy is horrible but it is not the end of the world. Post-bankruptcy debtors fall back into debt for many reasons; but one of the most common reasons is because they have medical bills they simply cannot afford to pay.
Below are a few tips on what a post-bankruptcy debtor can do if they have accumulated medical debt only a few short years after bankruptcy:
- Find out the true extent of your medical debt and check and see if you qualify to file bankruptcy again. Please note: You are not eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy again until eight years after the date of filing for a previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or six years from the filing of a previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy . And you are not eligible to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy again until four years after filing a previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or two years after a previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If, according to the above rules you are not eligible to file bankruptcy again then you will need to work something out with your medical provider, ignoring the bills is not a viable option if you want to keep your fresh start intact.
- After you have gathered all of you bills, come up with a budget that could resolve your medical debt issue in less than a year. Can you pay few hundred dollars on the medical debt per month for the next 12 months? You would be amazed at how many medical providers are willing to work with debtors who want to work out payment plans or even settle the medical debt for less than the original amount. Luckily medical debt does not accumulate interest unless and until it goes to a bill collector.
- Don’t allow your debt to go to a bill collector. Even if you are unable to pay anything on your medical debt, contact your medical provider and let them know why you are unable to pay the medical debt. While they may not forgive the debt, they may lay off on trying to collect from you if they know you have no means (as in no income) to repay them.