Trude Kleess, Attorney-at-Law

Legal Q&A

Q: My son was very ill last year, and required extensive medical care. We had major medical health insurance coverage, but there are a lot of bills that the insurance does not cover. What are my options?

A: Unfortunately, your situation is not unique in this day of escalating medical and insurance costs. If you are currently employed, you could try to negotiate a lower payment to each of the medical providers you owe, and agree upon a payment schedule. If the amount you owe is overwhelming, you should consider talking to an attorney about filing bankruptcy.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as a liquidation bankruptcy, allows for the discharge of certain types of debts. However, it also requires that you forfeit any assets which do not fall within the exemptions.

Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as a wage earner’s plan, certain debts may be discharged, but others are paid at least partially under a plan approved by the bankruptcy court.

Your individual situation will determine which form of bankruptcy may be best for you.