Bankruptcy and your floating home - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 33 Old 09-29-2011 Thread Starter
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Bankruptcy and your floating home

Hypothetically here...

1) We were out cruising with no health insurance
2) myself or wife had a serious medical issue
2) we had no land-home
3) All your assets are in your floating home
4) We are in the territorial waters of the US or have been able to reach a US hospital

...and we could not afford the bills... could they take your boat?
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post #2 of 33 Old 09-29-2011
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For the most part, without insurance you will not get treatment beyond keeping you alive for the moment.

Yes, you could possibly get the surgery or the stints or whatever, but the bills will come and your credit will be ruined. Don't believe the hype that medical bills cannot effect your credit because they can.

If you have something that needs ongoing treatment I hope you have cash or credit cards.

Then there is the physical therapy, transportation, prescriptions to fill.

The good news is that they can't bill you for the services and medicine they won't provide without cash up front.

If you are lucky you might be near a hospital that works on charity cases, sadly that is what you will become. If you need a flight....lol...you think there airline fees are out of line now...

Without health insurance you are porked. The good news is that without a few hundred thousand in savings to blow through you will probably be dead so you won't need a boat.

Last edited by RobGallagher; 09-29-2011 at 05:59 PM.
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post #3 of 33 Old 09-29-2011
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Get insurance!!

For example, mid-life checkup for me is at $10,000 and counting, probably another $3,000 to $4,000 and we're done. I pay 20% of that, and that's still a lot of money for a little guy like me.

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post #4 of 33 Old 09-29-2011
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It depends.

Hospitals are required to provide emergency service to you if you show up at the door.

By statute in Virginia, a spouse is liable for his or her spouse's emergency medical services and, by another statute, for necessaries, which could include necessary medical service, so both of you may be liable for the bill, even if only one of you requires medical service.

You are allowed to protect certain property from your creditors, in or out of bankruptcy. These laws are known as exemptions because the property is exempt from creditor process. Each state can either accept the federal bankruptcy exemptions or "opt out" and limit its residents to the state law exemptions and other non-bankruptcy federal exemptions. Virginia has opted out of the federal bankruptcy exemptions.

Your exemptions in bankruptcy are determined by where you have lived the last two years, or if you have lived in more than one place, where you lived the six months prior to that. You would probably default to the federal bankruptcy exemptions if you are not able to claim any other.

If you file a chapter 7 liquidation, you may lose the boat to liquidation by the chapter 7 trustee if it is not protected by your state law exemptions or the federal bankruptcy exemptions. Under the bankruptcy exemptions, each debtor can protect up to $21,625 in value in real or personal property that the debtor or a dependent uses as a residence, including a boat. Under Va. state law, each resident can claim $5,000 plus $500 for each dependent under the Homestead exemption, which increases to $10,000 when you are 65 or older, or $15,000 if you are a veteran with a service-related disability of 40% or more.

If you file a chapter 11, 12 or 13 plan bankruptcy, you can keep the boat, even if it has value that is not protected by your exemptions, but you must pay your creditors at least as much as they would receive if you liquidated.

You should check to see if you can hold title to your boat in your jurisdiction as tenants by the entireties with the common-law right of survivorship, which may protect it against the claims of the creditors of one spouse alone.

Even though you are living on a boat and you may intend to travel the world in the future, you may still establish or retain your legal domicile, or permanent home to which you intend to return, in a particular state, and you may want to investigate which state would be most favorable to you given your circumstances.

This is general information, not legal advice, and you should consult with a lawyer in your jurisdiction to discuss the applicability of the law to your particular facts.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 09-29-2011 at 07:32 PM.
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post #5 of 33 Old 09-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Hypothetically here...

1) We were out cruising with no health insurance
2) myself or wife had a serious medical issue
2) we had no land-home
3) All your assets are in your floating home
4) We are in the territorial waters of the US or have been able to reach a US hospital

...and we could not afford the bills... could they take your boat?
Were you ever in the service? If so, you can get care at any VA hospital and if you're broke, they won't charge you.
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post #6 of 33 Old 09-29-2011
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I am soo happy to be Canadian. The cost of health care in the US out of control. [of course only works while i'm in Canada]
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post #7 of 33 Old 09-29-2011
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The cost of health care in the US out of control.
I'm sure learning that the hard way. I miss my HMO plan, badly, where I would have probably only have had to pay out $50 versus this mess I'm in now.

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post #8 of 33 Old 09-29-2011
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My health care costs me $68 a month. I'm going to stay in Canada.
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post #9 of 33 Old 09-29-2011
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If you are out cruising and you do not have health insurance, stay away from the US. Your chances of being able to pay for care elsewhere are much better. I was treated at the lovely new hospital in Papeete, Tahiiti and had the attention of doctors and nurses for about an hour and a half and it cost less than $60. At the clinic in Mangareva I went in about 5 times to get dressings changed (English-speaking French doctor) and they did not charge at all.

Heading back to Lake Ontario for this summer. Ainia is back in North America for the first time since 2010. Currently in Long Island Sound.
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post #10 of 33 Old 09-30-2011
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Canada needs to conquer some tropical islands so we can cruise the CVI!

The challenge with national health care is that it's rationed so many die waiting for care or are told the government has decided that you don't need care. Essentially leaving you uninsured and have to go to the US and pay out of pocket. There's just no win.

Well other than having good private insurance!

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I am soo happy to be Canadian. The cost of health care in the US out of control. [of course only works while i'm in Canada]

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