- November 25th 2011
The number of individuals filing for bankruptcy protection is rising, and so is the likelihood that one or more of those filers is a patient of yours. There were 679,982 Chapter 7 filings in fiscal year 2008, a 40% increase over the 484,164 filings in fiscal 2007, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court reported. Chapter 13 filings rose from 310,802 in 2007 to 353,828 in 2008, a 14% hike.
With Chapter 7 liquidation, most unsecured debt, including medical bills, usually are discharged. With Chapter 13 reorganization, you might get a portion of what is owed, but it could take years.
Receiving notice of a bankruptcy filing may make you want to aggressively pursue any money you can get, set stricter payment rules for that patient, or even fire him or her from your practice. Experts warn, however, that there are rules protecting debtors. Failing to know and follow those rules could leave you facing fines or other court sanctions.
Experts also call for some compassion. While you have the right to [Read more]