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can a medical bill incurred after filing be added to Chapter 13?

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  • can a medical bill incurred after filing be added to Chapter 13?

    We filed earlier this month and then my wife came down with Pneumonia and had to be put in the hospital. That was an emergent situation that had to be done on a Friday evening so we couldn't discuss the adding of this debt to our life.
    Can it be added to the case after we already filed?

    Again we did not have this debt before we filed. It was done after the filing of the case, so can it just be added??

    Filed 09/08/10, $26k unsecured. Plan submitted 09/16/10, $250/mo X 36 Months = $9,000.
    First Payment: 09/28/10 341 Hearing: 10/12/10, Confirmation: 10/28/10
    2nd debtor education course taken: 02/05/13. DISCHARGE: 10/10/2013.

  • #2
    I was able to add debt to my plan that was incurred after my filing. My attorney had to see if there was room left in my plan, and since there was, he got permission from the court to modify my plan and add the creditor.
    Filed: 5/22/07; 341 Hearing: 6/27/07;
    Confirmed: 8/13/07; DISCHARGED 4/17/2012


    • #3
      Nicollette was this a medical bill? I saw lots of litature that says after filing you have to consult the trustee or lawyer before taking on any more debt. I don't ever want debt again, so its not like I went to best buy to get a plasma TV only to add them as a creditor. This was a hospital and we had no choice other then possibly death. My lawyer left me a voice mail that said it can't be added after filing. Is that just laziness or is it true? How can I pay the debt while on the plan if the plan is taking all my disposable income? If I understand the law correctly I can't have any money left over from the plan, it all has to go to the plan. How can I pay the hospital back if I have no disposable income left?

      We filed 10 days before she was put in the hospital. I find it hard to believe that the ink hasn't dried on the petition yet, figuratively speaking, that we can't just add it. The whole reason for filing is that we are in over our head. Here is another expense that I can't handle. I will offer to make payments, but I have found in the past that Hospitals will sue you at the drop of a hat. I find it amazing that if we had waited two more weeks to file that it could have been included.

      If someone can point to case law, such as a BK number that I can look up on Pacer to show the lawyer it would be help. Even if someone already has a copy of the motion and can send it to me that would be great. Block out any personal information, but maybe point me to a form number that was used, something to show it can be done. I've googled this and came up dry.
      Filed 09/08/10, $26k unsecured. Plan submitted 09/16/10, $250/mo X 36 Months = $9,000.
      First Payment: 09/28/10 341 Hearing: 10/12/10, Confirmation: 10/28/10
      2nd debtor education course taken: 02/05/13. DISCHARGE: 10/10/2013.


      • #4
        Teddybeardj, unfortunately this cannot be included in your plan and discharged at the end of your 13. Even though it has only been a couple of weeks the BK rules are pretty clear: Debt incurred after the filing date is not able to be discharged. (There has to be a cut off date for debts to be included, or all of us in a Chapter 13 could include debts that we incur well after the filing date and throughout a long 3-5 year plan.)

        However, your attorney can modify your plan (if there is wiggle room) so that you have the funds to pay the medical bill while you are in your plan. This could be what the responder above was referring to. (Much the same as when an auto loan has to be taken out while in the plan: The filer gets permission from the court to take on new debt.)

        Wait until your hospital bill comes in then negotiate with the accounting department a lower bill and payment plan. Then call your attorney again and see if there is room to modify your plan so that you have funds available to pay the hospital bill.

        Good luck to you and your family.
        Filed Chapter 13 02/2006 - Confirmed 05/2006 - Discharged 09/2011
        I'm not an attorney. My replies are merely suggestions or observations, not legal advice. As always, consult with an attorney before making any decisions.


        • #5
          +1 on newbie2's post - its exactly how it works and what you can do to accomodate the bill / payment. We've had to do that for our son's ER surgery after we filed - it couldnt be added either :/


          • #6
            You can, however, include post-filing debts in a case converted to chapter 7 (incurred prior to the conversion date).
            filed chapter 13..confirmed...converted to chapter 7...DISCHARGED!


            • #7
              What you've been told is correct - post-filing debts, including medical debts, cannot be added to your Ch 13 plan. However, your plan could be modified because you have to pay the new medical debt.

              I feel your pain. I also had an emergency hospitalization 12 days after we filed Ch 13. We were fortunate that we had good insurance and we were able to work out a reasonable payment plan with the hospital and doctors to spread the payments we did owe out over 15 months. We were very glad to finally get that bill paid off!

              If you haven't already, you need to contact your lawyer now and discuss your situation. Don't wait - find out what the possibilities are in your case. I hope everything works out in your favor. Hang in there!
              I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice nor a statement of the law - only a lawyer can provide those.

              06/01/06 - Filed Ch 13
              06/28/06 - 341 Meeting
              07/18/06 - Confirmation Hearing - not confirmed, 3 objections
              10/05/06 - Hearing to resolve 2 trustee objections
              01/24/07 - Judge dismisses mortgage company objection
              09/27/07 - Confirmed at last!
              06/10/11 - Trustee confirms all payments made
              08/10/11 - DISCHARGED !

              10/02/11 - CASE CLOSED
              Countdown: 60 months paid, 0 months to go


              • #8
                Actually, yes you can add the debt to your chapter 13 plan.


                • #9
                  Hey HHM...don't keep us hanging! How can you add it to the plan?

                  It eerie that so many have had emergency medical within weeks of filing...ME TOO! I was taken (against my will) to the ER when I had an atrail fib
                  attack while driving. Haven't gotten a bill yet, but I'm sure it will be more than my monthly income..YIKES


                  • #10
                    HHM is totally correct. However, the additional debt is not discharged if prior approval of Trustee was practical but not obtained (1328(d)). Instead, under Section 1305 post petition debt may be added but there are two prongs to doing this. 1) the post petition debt must be either for taxes or a consumer debt for necessary property or services and 2) you must get the creditor to agree to file a Proof of Claim. The second prong can be a problem. While 1305 claims are routinely filed by the IRS (and must be paid), institutional creditors are less likely to understand or agree.

                    Are medical bills "consumer" debt. Not sure. If they are not and they are large, depending upon what precipitated the case, if 1305 does not work the OP should discuss with an attorney dismissing the 13 and refiling so that the medicals become pre instead of post petition.

                    Last edited by despritfreya; 09-25-2010, 07:53 AM. Reason: correct statement of law


                    • #11
                      In our case - its was Des stated - we would've had to dismiss, refile, and pay additional fee's to add according to our attorney - and the hospital was unrelenting. We did not want to dimiss, start over, and incur more $ to the lawyer - so we just set up payments with the hospital based off of our 13 plan allowance (meaning what we had to work with after payment to Trustee). They werent too happy at first about what we could afford to pay vs. their "the standard is $50 minimum", but... I told them we could dismiss and they could get less than what I was offering, which is 100% of the bill.

                      They accepted our payment offer on the spot.


                      • #12
                        Des, thanks for elaborating. It's interesting to see how this can be handled.
                        Filed Chapter 13 02/2006 - Confirmed 05/2006 - Discharged 09/2011
                        I'm not an attorney. My replies are merely suggestions or observations, not legal advice. As always, consult with an attorney before making any decisions.


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