Do I Have to Pay Back Medical Bills That Show Up After a Bankruptcy Discharge?

By Beverly Bird

What you still have to pay after your bankruptcy discharge depends on what type of bankruptcy case you filed and when the debts were incurred. The determining date isn't when your discharge was granted -- it's the date you filed your petition. If you incur debts after this date, they're typically not dischargeable. If you inadvertently overlooked them when you filed your bankruptcy petition, however, you may have some options.

Amending Your Petition

If you forgot to include medical debts that existed at the time you filed for bankruptcy, you can amend your Chapter 7 petition to add them, even after your other debts have been discharged. You may not have to do this, however, if your case involved no assets, meaning there was nothing for the trustee to sell, so none of your creditors received anything. In a Chapter 13 case, you don't have to amend your whole petition if you forget to include debts, but only the terms of your repayment plan.

Post-Petition Debts

Although you can't discharge debts incurred after you file a Chapter 7 petition, an exception exists with regard to medical bills in Chapter 13 proceedings. If you incur additional medical debt after you file, these bills may be added to your repayment plan. If you add them, you must still pay them in full, plus any interest that accrues during the term of your plan. They're not discharged in the respect that you don't have to pay them, but bankruptcy's automatic stay prevents your creditors from hounding you for payment.

Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More
Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More
Can an Item Be Added to a Bankruptcy That Has Been Discharged?

References

Related articles

Tax Penalties and Interest in a Bankruptcy

If you've ever found yourself in a position where your income tax debt was more than your available resources to pay your tax debt, you know what happens next. The longer the tax bill remains outstanding, the greater the debt becomes. The Internal Revenue Service incrementally adds on interest and penalties. The good news is that, contrary to popular belief, income taxes are sometimes dischargeable in bankruptcy. The associated penalties and interest are often erased, as well.

What Happens to an Unsecured Loan After Chapter 13 Has Been Dismissed?

When you file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 13, you are asking a federal court for protection from your creditors. The court issues an automatic stay, meaning your creditors must stop all collection efforts and lawsuits against you. A trustee then draws up a repayment plan, which schedules monthly payments that will repay a portion of your unsecured debts. If you fail to meet the payments, the court may dismiss the case — and there will be important consequences for those unsecured debts.

Do You Have to File on Everything When You File for Chapter 13?

Bankruptcy isn't a pick-and-choose answer to financial problems. If you owe a debt – even if it's just $50 to your Aunt Rose – the law obligates you to include it in your petition. This is true even if you file for Chapter 13. Your creditors usually receive at least some of what you owe, so you can't unfairly prejudice any of them by leaving them out.

Related articles

What Bills Will Bankruptcy Cover?

Bankruptcy can be a complex process because different rules apply to different types of debts. Chapter 13 cases cover ...

The Effect of Not Listing Creditors on a Bankruptcy Filing

Although filing for bankruptcy offers financial relief, the process isn't stress-free. You'll have to chase down proof ...

What Percentage of Secured Debt Is Repaid in Chapter 13?

Consumers who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy enjoy a few benefits that those who file for Chapter 7 don't receive. They ...

What Can Be Done When Unexpected Expenses Happen While in Bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy doesn't stop time in its tracks. Your life goes on, and events you had no way of anticipating can ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED