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Medical debts can be discharged in personal bankruptcy

Unpaid debts can have a detrimental impact on the future financial stability of consumers in Ohio. A scarred credit score can jeopardize a person's ability to obtain a mortgage, get financing for a car or rent accommodation. In many cases, the source of the debt is unanticipated medical debts, and, fortunately, there are manners in which the debt can be reduced, or it may even be possible to get it discharged in personal bankruptcy.

It is not uncommon for medical bills to have errors that can be substantial. Some mistakes are easy to spot, such as duplicate charges, but others may need the eye of a professional to audit complicated medical bills. Once errors are identified, a call to the facility's accounts office may result in a significant drop in the owed amount.

Medical bills can be negotiated, even after completion of treatment. Many people don't know that persistent haggling may lead to reduced bills, even though the process may be difficult. Researching average prices for similar procedures online may help to convince the accounts officer to lower the price. However, it is important to make contact with the correct person and to get the agreement to adjust the bill in writing.

Even if a bill is reduced to a lower amount, an individual may still be overwhelmed with debt and unable to pay. Fortunately, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows consumers in Ohio and other states to have medical debts discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy or to reorganize payments over an extended period of between three and five years in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can explain the means test to determine for which chapter the client qualifies and then provide guidance with the legal procedures that will follow the filing.

Source: health.usnews.com, "How to Pay Medical Bills You Simply Can't Afford", Lacie Glover, Accessed on Aug. 19, 2016

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