Despite massive healthcare reform that has swept through the nation, many Americans struggle with medical expenses everyday. Pre-existing conditions, sudden illness, and even accidents can strike with mountains of medical debt at any time. This financial predicament becomes a burden for many individuals and families, especially as creditors begin harassing through debt collection calls. Aside from hounding creditors, medical debt can quickly lead to damaged credit reports and could even lead to the repossession of personal belongings to pay back the money owed!
Medical problems strike individuals and families two-fold. First, the immediate consequence is the skyrocketing cost of medical care. This is what creates the medical expense crisis in the first place. However, things get even worse because medical problems secondly result in lost wages. Because of time off work to recover from your own illness or help your spouse, the lost wages coupled with high medical expenses becomes a toxic situation.
Why Bankruptcy is the Best Solution
Fortunately, medical debt is dischargeable through bankruptcy. Because they are considered unsecured debts just like credit card debt, a bankruptcy can wipe out medical debt. When an unexpected medical emergency arises, people have the tendency to continue ignoring bankruptcy as an option, hoping that their financial situation will improve. However, this often leads to even more problems, as medical debt can put you behind on other payments such as your mortgage, student loans, or credit card bills.
A bankruptcy attorney can help you eliminate unsecured debt like your medical expenses and give you a fresh financial start. While you might not have control over medical emergencies, you can control your financial health through the help of a bankruptcy attorney. Furthermore, eliminating stress from medical debt allows you to recover! Keep in mind that financial worries can trigger acute stress, which doesn’t allow your body to recover toward overall health and fitness.
Throughout this process, a bankruptcy attorney will help you determine whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is your best solution to eliminate the debt.
•Chapter 7. This bankruptcy option gives you protection by liquidating your assets to pay off medical debt. Exemptions allow you to keep the property and assets you need while raising the funds to eliminate the debt.
•Chapter 13. If you’re able to work and can repay your debt, a bankruptcy attorney can help you reorganize your debts through a Chapter 13 filing. This makes it easier for you to repay your medical costs and provides financial help.
How to Avoid Medical Debt
While a bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate through this financial hardship, avoiding medical debt is going to be the best solution for many people. To do this, be sure to:
•Understand the terms of your insurance. There’s a lot of small and fine print in insurance contracts. Do your research to determine exactly what your insurance covers. This way even if a medical emergency hits, you know that you’re covered and don’t have to stress over medical debt.
•Keep an emergency fund. By keeping funds set aside, you’ll be prepared for emergency expenses. While it might not cover medical bills, you can put a dent in medical debt.
•Seek help from a bankruptcy attorney right away. If you know you’re going to struggle paying back the debt, don’t make the mistake most people make of putting the problem to the side. Seek guidance immediately!
Richard Feinberg has represented many large banks, financial institutions and insurance companies, but his practice is now concentrated solely on representing the interests of consumers in bankruptcy and foreclosure defense. As a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer, Richard has had the opportunity to help hundreds of people find relief from their debts and gain a sense of financial freedom.bootspruefung