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Medical bill debt relief a step in the right direction

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2013 | Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Firm News

There are many reasons why people generally find themselves in a position where they see no alternative to filing for bankruptcy. However, Florida residents may be surprised to know their health situation may play a huge factor in whether they can achieve a state of debt relief or if they have to file for bankruptcy. A recent report predicts 1.7 million households will file for bankruptcy this year simply due to health care cost they can’t financially handle.

The study points to the expense of visits to an emergency room, ambulance costs and the out of pocket costs of high deductibles. Even those with health insurance may find a $5,000 or $10,000 deductible to be too much of a burden if it comes unexpectedly. Compared to the average family income, that amount can make a huge impact on a family’s ability to pay their monthly bills. 

The same report does indicate a trend toward fewer bankruptcies compared to the height of the economic crisis; however some still feel there is no other choice. One reason cited for the need to file bankruptcy aside from the actual medical bills rolling is the fact that when those bills do add up, people are forced to use credit cards more. They also deplete any savings they may have, creating vicious cycle with bankruptcy as the end result.

While medical bills may not be able to be avoided, better knowledge about ways to find debt relief other than spending savings or racking up credit debt may help families avoid bankruptcy. However, if bankruptcy is the best option, there are legal means of keeping one’s home and property. The intricacies and changes to bankruptcy laws should be fully understood and explored before a Florida household definitively decides it the best debt relief option for their unique situation.

Source: NBC News, “Biggest cause of personal bankruptcy: Medical bills,” Dan Mangan, June 25, 2013

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