Can you discharge a medical bill in bankruptcy?

UPDATED: Aug 8, 2011

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Can you discharge a medical bill in bankruptcy?

I had a 9 year marriage that was annulled in court because my ex was still married to her previous husband. During the time of our “marriage” she, along with her kids, went on my medical. Now my trust fund sent me a bill of $22,000 from her and her kids medical since our marriage was annulled; they are holding me accountable for this balance. I didn’t know she was still married and this is stated in our papers. Can I go after her for this bill since the marriage was fraud? And, if not, can I file bankruptcy?

Asked on August 8, 2011 California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should retain a lawyer to explore these issues. The easier one is bankruptcy--a bill from or debt owed to a medical care provider or a medical insurer is not one of the debts (like child support, taxes, or arising from DUI) that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. So while you should consult with an attorney about the specifics of your case, there is a good chance you can discharge this debt in bankruptcy if need be.

As to to going after your supposed wife for the medical costs--you may be able to do this, IF she knew that she was still married at the time; that level of fraud would possibly provide grounds for liability. However, if she was merely mistaken as to whether a divorce had been given effect or something of that sort, it is unlikely you could recover from her.

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