Saddled With Unpaid Debt

Discussion in 'Money & Finances' started by Frank Sanoica, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    As a result of ongoing dialysis treatments, I have become encumbered by great debt. Demands are being made by the main creditor, the dialysis company.

    Since their charges equal our monthly mortgage payment, continued timely payments on BOTH being not practicable, the residence remains intact.

    Several case-workers (employed by the medical provider) have interviewed us, and claimed means to help; none has come back with even a discussion. I believe their positions are "token", or "knee-jerk" to enhance the company's image.

    Our combined income level is slightly below Federal Poverty Level Guidelines. Social Security has proven of no help at all.

    Have any of you filed for personal bankruptcy? I was able to learn very little on line; most everything is oriented toward business bankruptcies. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Frank
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I have, after we mistakenly used credit cards in order to prop up a failing business about twenty years ago. As it was a sole proprietorship, it was a personal bankruptcy claim. Within six months after having our debt wiped out, credit card companies were begging us to accept new cards. When you file for bankruptcy, you can do some picking and choosing. For example, we had some debts that we wanted to pay off, such as a local oil distributor who had let us run an account, so we could simply leave them off of the bankruptcy claim. Another local creditor who we were making payments to, and not even behind on, took us to small claims court as soon as he heard we were filing for bankruptcy, although we hadn't included him. We had left them off the claim because we intended to continue paying him off, as he had agreed to. Since we didn't have the money to pay him in full, we added him to the bankruptcy claim, and paid him in full later when our situation improved. The small claims court wouldn't even hear the case once he learned there was a bankruptcy involved. An attorney filed our claim for us, so I don't know how complicated it could be to do it for yourself. Unpayable medical debts seem to be a perfect example of a good reason for bankruptcy protection, as opposed to the irresponsible use of a credit card, so I'd go for it; or at least talk to a bankruptcy attorney about it.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  3. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Veteran Member
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    File 13.......
    Honestly Frank I have no idea how to guide you on this. You should be able to find out bankruptcy laws in your state. Dreadfuly this situation your in can happen to any of us..its just a matter of When.Normally if you pay them something at all they can't do much..but this may not be the case in your state.Keep us posted.
     
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  4. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    I went to a free legal service Legal Aid about filing bankruptcy to find out my options before filing a Chapter 7. There are two types Chapter 7 where the debt is all charged off and Chapter 13 where you can pay off your debtors but you must have the income to be able to cover the debt that won't leave you 'house broke' or unable to pay for normal living expenses. There is also a process called 'reaffirming the debt' where you can keep the property and continue to pay on it, e.g. home or car.

    It's a long process and legal help is definitely a must.
     
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  5. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Frank, how will the bankruptcy affect your ability to continue receiving the dialysis treatments? I don't know anything about filing but there has to be a solution for you. Good luck.

    Here's some information about help with medical expenses... https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/financial-help-treatment

    Where can I get more information about Medicare’s kidney failure treatment coverage?
    You can find more information about Medicare’s kidney failure treatment coverage from the following resources
     
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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    We have a program here in Alabama to help the elderly with financial, legal, and other problems. You might have something similar where you live.
    When I checked ours, it sent me to this website that helps seniors with too much financial bills.

    https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/
     
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  7. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Good advice here Frank, check it all out and I'm sure there will be help at hand. The last thing you need is stress
    you deserve any help going
     
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  8. Ed Wilson

    Ed Wilson Very Well-Known Member
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    Some lawyers will do pro bono work and could guide you through the bankruptcy process.
     
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  9. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    We had thought about filing some years ago, until we found out we'd have to give up our boat and move to a much less "nicer/safer" apartment complex. Well, that ended that. The boat was old, but a lawyer told us straight out, "the boat would have to go and you would have to move".

    Actually, my wife found a credit card reduction company that would help, thru monthly payments, take away our credit card debt. We could never use the credit cards that we gave them again, but what we owed was paid off. And, the really nice thing, doing this didn't hurt our credit at all.
     
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  10. John Brunner

    John Brunner Very Well-Known Member
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    Here is a listing of county offices to contact for the assistance program run by the Arizona Office on Aging.

    I would start there and let them point you to other situation-specific resources.

    Good luck, buddy.
     
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  11. Lon Tanner

    Lon Tanner Veteran Member
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  12. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Beth Gallagher

    "Frank, how will the bankruptcy affect your ability to continue receiving the dialysis treatments?"

    Very basic question! Everyone seems to think medical treatment cannot be denied........I'm not convinced. For example, a legal notice is permanently affixed to the main doors of our hospital proclaiming, "Infant children MUST be treated by this facility". Legal interpretation? Maybe "dodgeball".

    The other big point is that kidney dialysis is NOT a competitive business. Clinics are set up to do ONLY dialysis (though hospitals possess limited numbers of machines). Only one clinic exists here; the next nearest one I am not aware of. Seems almost a "Hungarian lock" on the business. It has offices as far away as the East Coast.

    The process itself, I believe, lends itself to possible serious dire consequence: repeated exposure of the body's blood to the "outside world" is AFAIK fraught with risk. The least slip up allowing bacteria to enter is disastrous. The equipment used is well-designed to prevent that, I see that, but still involves certain human maneuvers of hook-up and disconnect which are not totally fool-proof. That part scares me.

    Frank
     
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  13. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Very Well-Known Member
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    There must be a mechanism to help you. I used to carry many people to dialysis when I drove the medicab. Medicaid won't cover?


    once again I wonder why people do not want socialized medicine. why should Frank and his wife have to declare bankruptcy over health care?
     
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  14. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    It seemed to me that Frank should be able to have Medicaid, since he said their income is below poverty levels, and the expenses are much more than can ever be paid.
    When our former pastor in Idaho was in the nursing home with Alzheimer’s, his wife could not pay for the expense of the nursing home, but the county paid it for her.
    What they did was to put a lien against her home, but she was allowed to live there until she died, too. At any time, they could have repaid the loan, and reclaimed the home, but no one had the money to do that, and it just went to the county (or it might have been the state of Idaho, I am not sure).

    As far as socialized medicine, I have mixed feelings about that. When I first had the a-fib and heart failure, I was only in my late 50’s, and I had no insurance to pay for medical treatment.
    Even after I was married to Bobby, his insurance at work only covered him, and not me.
    I was not able to have treatment for my heart until I was 65 and could have Medicare/medicaid , and I am sure that if I could have had treatment sooner, my heart would not have gotten as bad as it did with not having treatment.

    I think that low-income people should be able to have medical care; but I have also seen that abused by people. We had a neighbor and she and her son were on welfare and medicaid, and she went to the ER every time she had a bad headache, a cold, and once she went because she had stubbed her toe and it was swollen and hurting her.
    I think that medicaid should be an option, but not the only option, as in Medicare for all.
     
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  15. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Very Well-Known Member
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    She probably went to the ER because a Dr. would not see her.
     
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