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Home > Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts > I Was the Passenger in a Car Accident and Hospital Sued Me for Bills. – Steven

I Was the Passenger in a Car Accident and Hospital Sued Me for Bills. – Steven

“Dear Steve,

I’m disabled, and collect Social Security benefits. Two years ago, I was a passenger in a vehicle that was totaled when the driver lost control and slammed into a pole. I live in MA and the accident happened in MA, but the vehicle was registered and insured in CA.
Because of a loophole in PIP law, the California insurance company hasn’t paid my medical bills, or even bothered to send a written statement of denial, so my own health insurance (Mass Health) which covered me at the time, and still covers me, cannot be billed. The hospital sued me a few months ago, and the court found in favor of the plantiff.

Now, I understand that I am essentially judgement proof, in that I have no income or assets that can be attached. I still have to go to court every other month for payment reviews, which is a hardship due to my disability. Would filing bankrupcy free me from this once and for all?

Steven”

Dear Steven,

That certainly sounds like a reasonable application of the protections afforded to you under bankruptcy. And certainly a reason why some people pursue bankruptcy to break the chain of events.

If you think you may be eligible for public aid assistance, use this Bankruptcy Pro Bono Help Locator to find possible help near you.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Sstevens33

    Thanks for the prompt reply to my question.

    It turns out, that with my small level of debt, it doesn’t really make sence to file bankruptcy. But I just had a new thought on this, what about UCC-1 filings with the Secretary of State? would that not absolve me of debt as well?

    • Michael

      Hi Steven,

      UCC filings by individuals in an attempt to gain control of their “strawman”, trademarked christian name, place priority liens on yourself and your res etc., will not accomplish anything relating to your situation in the post above.

      Save the gas money and filing fees.

      • Sstevens33

        Thank you. My own attorney that I have employed to pursue the CA insurance company, has mentioned that, because of my disability status and that I am essentially judgement proof, that this judgement should never have been made against me, though he is not willing to open that can of worms in court. I have not seen a judge in this case, only a clerk-magistrate or whatever. What is the possibility of getting this decision overturned by a judge? 

      • Sstevens33

        Thank you. My own attorney that I have employed to pursue the CA insurance company, has mentioned that, because of my disability status and that I am essentially judgement proof, that this judgement should never have been made against me, though he is not willing to open that can of worms in court. I have not seen a judge in this case, only a clerk-magistrate or whatever. What is the possibility of getting this decision overturned by a judge? 

      • Michael

        I am no attorney, but I would think it unlikely.

        Filing bankruptcy would free you from the debt. How much is the judgment for? What is the total of any other outstanding debts?
        Has your medical situation stabilized?

      • Sstevens33

        I only owe a few thousand dollars in total, thankfully…and there are no lasting medical problems from the accident….

        My main motivation is to stop the need to go to court every 2 months for payment review on a judgement that they can’t make me pay.

      • Michael

        Okay. It is rarely worth filing bankruptcy over smaller amounts of debt.
        If you have an opportunity to settle the debts/judgement for a one time lump sum, that amount may be less than the filing fees and attorney costs for the bankruptcy.
        As for the continuous asset hearings every other month… the other side may relent after a time, or they may have many that they schedule for the same day in that court in order to economize time.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Don’t fall for it.

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