Medical debt is a major issue that burdens many Floridians. In fact, it is one of the top reasons that Americans in general struggle with debt they can never quite seem to conquer. For many of these individuals, bankruptcy is the only way out. However, the process of getting to that decision can be stressful.
As healthcare costs rise, many people are struggling to pay for their regular medical expenses incurred every year. Add one major medical crisis on top of those regular bills, and the expenses can get out of control quickly. With the repeal of Obamacare and the fact that individuals are no longer required to carry health insurance, the number of individuals filing for bankruptcy due to medical debt is expected to increase.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, it is estimated that 25 percent of all U.S. adults struggle to keep up with their medical bills. If your medical costs are getting out of hand and you find that you are not able to keep up with payments, what are your options? You should never simply ignore the bills and calls from collectors, hoping they will go away.
One option is to work with the medical provider on a possible payment plan to pay the debt off over time. Many providers are more than willing to work with someone so long as the individual contacts the company sooner rather than later. As soon as the account goes into default and a collection case is filed, it may be too little too late to work with them.
The problem is many of these individuals are not able to even communicate with the provider quickly because of their medical conditions which led to the debt to begin with. Many of them are already struggling in terms of health, which can make keeping up with financial matters extremely difficult.
If someone has an otherwise stellar credit score but suddenly falls ill and faces thousands of dollars in medical bills, it can be a major hit to the ego to decide that the situation calls for filing for bankruptcy. However, it often is the best decision to make. If the debt will likely be discharged in a bankruptcy case, it can be fruitless for someone to struggle paying the bills and delay the inevitable filing. While bankruptcy can put a mark on your credit, it can easily be fixed through positive financial habits and proper budgeting. The fear of what filing will do to your credit report should not keep you in a stressful financial situation, especially if you are already overwhelmed with a medical situation. A bankruptcy attorney can evaluate your situation and advise you on the best way to proceed, whether it be working directly with the medical provider or filing for bankruptcy.
How is Medical Debt Handled in Bankruptcy?
In bankruptcy, medical debt is treated the same as credit card debt. Medical bills are listed as general unsecured debt and can be easily wiped out in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is never an easy one. It can be difficult to get past some of the myths associated with filing for bankruptcy. Sometimes by waiting, an individual facing a lot of debt can find himself or herself in an even worse situation. Filing for bankruptcy can help protect valuable assets, including your home, pension, IRA and social security. It will put an end to wage garnishment and any lawsuit being filed to collect on the debt, thanks to the protections of the automatic stay.
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Those who have experienced illness or injury and found themselves overwhelmed with medical debt should contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney. In bankruptcy, medical bills are considered general unsecured debts just like credit cards. This means that medical bills do not receive priority treatment and can easily be discharged in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws were created to help people resolve overwhelming debt and gain a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy attorney Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.