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Is extreme medical debt worth a BK?

New Member

Is extreme medical debt worth a BK?

Hi Everyone,

I used to be an active member here but due to some medical issues I had to disappear for awhile.

Luckily, i'm back in good health and want to get back to fixing my credit.


One big issue holding me back is medical bills. I had a very long hospital stay totaling over $4.7 million dollars which I had no insurance for.

At this point, I don't know if it's worth it to file for BK and start from scratch or just ignore the medical bills and tackle the other baddies on my record.


I cant imagine being denied credit due to the debt being such a ridiculously high amount but I have never had any health issues before this so I don't know how it all works...

Message 1 of 18
Frequent Contributor

Re: Is extreme medical debt worth a BK?

I'm really sorry you had to endure such a big event life, and I sincerely hope your health is much better by now.

In regards to the debt, you have to realize is just a huge amount of money which I imagine will never get paid. You will be dragging with this problem all of your life, it is really a big issue, how much worse can it get?

Bankruptcy will discharge almost all of your debts and you will start fresh. It's not an easy decision and it might feel frightening at first, but it is worth your tranquility.

In regards to credit, you will recover with time. In the other hand, if you don't, things will just get worse because the issue is still there.

Best luck with your decision. I know it was for me the best choice ever!
BK Discharged 06/02/2016 SCORES AROUND 475

Current scores:
Message 2 of 18
Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Is extreme medical debt worth a BK?

Medical debt is the most common reason for filing BK. Unless you are extremely highly paid you will never pay off $4.7 million, so why not bit the bullet & file BK and get it off your back rather than struggle with it for years & years?


The one thing though you might check is if your state has a law requiring medical providers to accept a payment plan. Several years ago I incurred several thousands of dollars in an ambulance bill. In AZ medical care providers must accept payments as low as $25/mo. I sent them $25/mo. for around a year and a half and then they sent me a letter saying they had written the balance off any no further payments were required. But still, $4.7 mil would be payments for a very long time. 


Sorry for your troubles and glad you are well now.

Fico 08: 720/721/719 TU/EX/EQ
Message 3 of 18
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Is extreme medical debt worth a BK?

For what it's worth, medical debt is why I filed.

Filed BK7: 7/2012 (start score EQ 560 / TU 529) Discharge 10/2012
730 EQ FICO 11/2017
750 TU FICO 11/2017
735 EX FICO 11/2017
$20k NFCU Platinum | $25k NFCU cashRewards Sig | $15k NavChek | $7.1k Cap1 Quicksilver | $10k Amazon Store | $19k Cap1 VentureOne | $16k Barclay Aviator | $5k Chase Freedom | $5k Chase Sapphire Preferred | $9k Costco Visa | $20k AMEX BCE
Message 4 of 18
Established Contributor

Re: Is extreme medical debt worth a BK?

sorry to hear about your situation.


But TX and Dave have provided solid advice and this is obviousy something that won't get paid. I would wait until they file suit before i considered BK. There is a chance they might not sue knowing they will not get paid...who knows. I have seen people get sued for 800 by one creditor an another creditor will walk away from 100k. Rare but it happens.

Message 5 of 18
Frequent Contributor

Re: Is extreme medical debt worth a BK?

Your creditor(s) could sue you at any point up to the date the statute of limitations prevents them from suing.  They could also not sue, but large collection accounts would surely continue to impact your credit  report.


If you plan to get credit in the future, it may be in your best interest to file and begin rebuilding your credit.


As suggested by another poster, you could certainly wait and see if you get sued. Just know that means you may also be contacted by collection agencies as well.


If you decide to file, check if you pass the means test first. In other words, check to see if you qualify for a Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13. If you're borderline, you may want to time your filing so that you have the best chance of qualifying for a Chapter 7 case.

Message 6 of 18
Established Contributor

Re: Is extreme medical debt worth a BK?



after i posted, i gave it some thought. I agree probably best OP files and just moves on.


waiting and looking over your shoulder is stressful enough.

Message 7 of 18
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Is extreme medical debt worth a BK?

I think I would close any accounts in good standing and file. That is a debt I could NEVER pay off.  GL whatever you decide. You have gone through enough.

Message 8 of 18
Established Contributor

Re: Is extreme medical debt worth a BK?

Yes, OP, good luck to you.

Message 9 of 18
Senior Contributor

Re: Is extreme medical debt worth a BK?

Have you filed for charity care with the medical facilities?


Without knowing details, you might qualify for the majority, if not all of the bills to be paid by "charity care."  Just a thought.

Message 10 of 18