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Medical debt affects millions of Americans

Debt is a part of life. People get loans for their houses, cars, and education. Yet, a new report has found that millions of Americans are struggling to pay off their medical debt. The study, conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, found that 41 percent of adults had problems paying off their medical debt or were paying the debt off over a period of time. Additionally, 29 percent of those having difficulty had more than $4,000 in unpaid medical bills. A significant portion of those surveyed, 16 percent, had more than $8,000 in medical debt.

Carrying so much medical debt can strain an individual's life. If the debt goes unpaid and is reported to credit agencies, the individual may have trouble getting loans for a home or a car and may even have trouble getting a job. These financial challenges can make life extremely stressful and leave an individual feeling hopeless. Fortunately, debt relief is a reality. A lawyer can aid individuals in developing a plan that will help them obtain a fresh start.

There are several ways debt relief can be obtained. The best way for an individual who is struggling to pay his debt to obtain relief is to file for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy can stop wage garnishments and either eliminate the medical debt or set up a repayment play that can make payment of the debt more reasonable. Typically, property is exempted from bankruptcy, meaning that one who files for bankruptcy will likely be able to keep his house.

However, there are many misconceptions about bankruptcy and the process of each individual's bankruptcy will be a little different. An experienced attorney can help navigate the process and find a plan that works for each individual. Financial stress can ruin an individual's life and destroy families. These struggling families owe it to themselves to seek a new beginning.

Source: Dallas Morning News, "Millions struggling with medical debt," Pamela Yip, May 13, 2013

Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
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Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-954-7180
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