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Can my son's medical debts be discharged in my bankruptcy (California) if I am the subscriber?

Paso Robles, CA |

I am filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, my son is my dependent (on my tax return). He is over 21. He was a full time student this year. I carry the medical insurance policy. My son became ill and now has thousands of dollars in medical bills. Some bills are in his name and some bills are in my name. He was not able to work because of his illness. Thank you for your help

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Best answer

    You will be able to discharge the medical bills which are in your name. If there is any doubt as to whether a particular bill is in your name, you should list it.

    Your son's liabilities will not be discharged by your bankruptcy. However, it may be that some of the medical providers have only your name as the responsible party so your son may slip through the cracks.

    If your son is not working and has no assets, he may qualify for some assistance through his healthcare providers. (He may also be judgment proof.) Call and explain the situation; ask for help in handling the bill.

  2. No, you can't discharge someone else's debt.

  3. You can discharge your obligations in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can not discharge someone else's obligations. So, if the creditor is looking to you for payment, that debt will be discharged as it pertains to you - your son's obligation will survive.

    I hope this helps.
    Steven A. Leahy

    Please note that the above is not intended as legal advice, it is for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created or is intended to be created hereby. You should contact a local attorney to discuss and to obtain legal advice.

  4. simple answer: No.

    My suggestion: clarify with creditor on the 'true' signor of the account. Perhaps requesting something in writing indicating the debtor.

    I would give all the creditors notice just to be safe.

  5. For any of his medical bills that you are liable for (or personally guaranteed), those bills can be discharged. however, if you are not personally liable on some of the bills, those bills would not be dischargeable in your bankruptcy.

    if you need additional information, please feel free to peruse my website at

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