Many people find themselves forced to seek the protection of bankruptcy because of medical debt. Skyrocketing medical costs, slow-to-rise wages and an influx of other bills can make it challenging for some people to keep up with such expenses. Medical bills are not like other types of debt, such as credit cards, mortgages and student loans, which are predictable and planned-for expenses. Medical issues often occurs when least expected. In some cases, they are unavoidable. Illnesses and health emergencies often leave many people financially crippled.
Bankruptcy can provide relief
Medical debts are considered unsecured debts. This makes them dischargeable under bankruptcy. This is a great benefit for people who want to put an end to harassing phone calls and collection activities. Those who want to get a fresh start and make their financial situation more manageable and less stressful may be able to achieve that by filing to have their medical debts set aside through bankruptcy.
Medical debt collection practices
Many medical providers do not have standard time frames in place for collection activities. Some providers report unpaid medical debts to the credit bureaus immediately after 30 days; others do so after 180. Collection tactics do not end once those delinquent debts are reported to the bureaus. Some healthcare collection agencies become very aggressive, targeting the wages and bank accounts of debtors. Many of these people may no longer be working because of health reasons. Others may not have enough income and are overburdened with all kinds of debt.
Adverse effects of medical debt
Debt is a source of stress for most people. Dealing with medical collection companies that are less than willing to settle or negotiate lower payments can make them feel like they have no other options left but to file for bankruptcy, especially if they are in over their heads with other bills. It can also negatively impact their lives in various ways, causing them to make personal and financial sacrifices just to stay afloat. Some people have trouble affording their basic living expenses to support their families. Even people who have health insurance must contend with rising insurance premiums and higher deductibles every year. Some people also have to pay for expensive diagnostics and treatments they may or may not truly need.
Medical expenses are unavoidable for many people. If you are struggling to make ends meet and pay your medical debts, you should speak with an attorney about your situation so you can learn more about your options.