I often tell people that debt can happen to anyone. Throughout my 30-plus years as a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I’ve met thousands of people who are in debt through no fault of their own. Many of them are honest, hard-working men and women who were hit with an unforeseen medical emergency.
A study released by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2017 found that medical debt is the number one reason collection agencies contact consumers. Of the consumers in the report who had been contacted by a collection agency, 59% were for medical bills. In 2016, a report from the Kauffman Family Foundation concluded that more than 25% of Americans have someone in their household struggling to pay medical debt.
Medical debt is such a problem in our country that people would rather go without medical care than risk a hefty bill. People are skipping recommended tests and treatments. The fear of debt is greater than the fear of a physical illness itself.
There is a way out.
Serious medical debt does not go away on its own. Only bankruptcy can clear your slate and offer a fresh start.
Filing for bankruptcy because of medical debt isn’t just simpler than you might think. It’s also quite common. For years, it has been one of the top reasons people file for bankruptcy.
There are two types of bankruptcy for individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Either type can provide relief with medical bills.
Medical Debt and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to eliminate unsecured debts such as taxes, credit card bills, and medical bills without paying them back. It is the simplest way to put your medical debt behind you and move forward with the financial freedom you deserve.
Medical Debt and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Eliminating medical debt through a Chapter 13 is slightly more complicated, but still doable. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy combines your debts into affordable monthly payments spread out over 3-5 years. Many people with significant medical debt who file for a Chapter 13 end up paying just a portion of the debt. And when the repayment plan is up, you’ll be back on your feet and on the path to your new life.
Get Help From a Memphis Bankruptcy Lawyer
Medical debt isn’t just about finances. It comes with a heavy emotional toll. Our lawyers have helped thousands of people facing medical debt recover and rebuild.
If you are ready to stop the devastation of debt in its tracks, we would like to speak with you. Contact us here or call (901) 327-2100 to discuss your options at no cost.