Considering Bankruptcy To Get Rid Of Your Medical Bills? You Are Not Alone! (Part One Of Five)

14 Apr Considering Bankruptcy To Get Rid Of Your Medical Bills? You Are Not Alone! (Part One Of Five)

Medical Bills

Everyone knows that people who file bankruptcy do so because they make poor financial decisions and incur too much credit card debt.

Wrong!

While poor spending choices can be a factor in a bankruptcy filing, most of the clients I see have experienced a major life changing event that brought them into my office. Often one, or a combination of the following has caused an individual to over use their credit cards:

  • A job loss or reduction in income.
  • A Divorce.
  • The death of a spouse or significant other that was contributing to the household expenses.
  • Medical bills.

But if you ask any consumer bankruptcy attorney to list the major causes for filing bankruptcy and on their short list will definitely be medical bills.

People do not go into bankruptcy lightly: They go into bankruptcy after they have exhausted all other options. This often means they have maxed out their credit cards, borrowed money from friends and loved ones, and even worse, gutted their retirement plans to pay their debts.

A survey of health care costs published by USA Today, and conducted with Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health sheds light on some of the underlying issues regarding health care costs and their financial impact on citizens.

The survey found that American families, even families with health insurance said they experienced the following:

  • 23% of Americans have problems paying medical bills;
  • 61% of adults who reported problems paying medical bills were covered by insurance;
  • 21% of Americans had an overdue medical bill;
  • 19% reported experiencing serious financial consequences in the past 5 years due to medical bills;
  • 18% say that health care costs are their biggest monthly expense excluding rent or mortgage payments.

How this impacts the availability of health care will be discussed in Part Two of this series.

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I've been a consumer bankruptcy lawyer for nearly 25 years. Since that time I have helped many people resolve their financial problems. I have been practicing law since 1986 and I am licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in the State of Louisiana. Because I am a sole practitioner, you know that your debt matters are being handled by me personally. In addition to my work with consumers, I am also frequently asked to speak at local seminars on bankruptcy law. I am member of the following organizations: • Louisiana Bar Association • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys • Bankruptcy Law Network My office is located at: 3920 General DeGaulle Drive, New Orleans, LA 70114 Telephone: (504) 368-4101

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