According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, nearly two-thirds of debtors who filed bankruptcy in 2007 cite illness and medical bills as the primary reason for their financial problems. And 77 percent of those bankrupt debtors had health insurance in the beginning of their illness; but lost it later.
The article said:
Four in 10 of the “medically bankrupt” had lost two or more weeks of wages due to their own or a family member’s illness, roughly 35% had spent more than $5,000 or 10% of their annual income in out-of-pocket medical bills, and 43% specifically cited their own or a family member’s illness as a reason for filing for bankruptcy.
The study follows a 2005 study by the same researchers, who found that between 2001 and 2007, the proportion of all bankruptcies that could be attributed to medical problems rose by 49.6%.
This study is disheartening; but not surprising. Medical debt can be absolutely devastating even for those with health insurance and a high-salary job. So many foreclosures and bankruptcies start with medical debt. The problem is the enormous costs of healthcare that can leave many debtors tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars is debt. This debt simply cannot be repaid using the resources/income available to most debtors, it’s impossible. That’s why many of these debtors are forced into bankruptcy.
If you’re facing mounting medical bills, you are not alone. Millions of Americans are drowning in medical debt which is literally destroying their financial health. Do not allow medical debt to get out of control. Bankruptcy allows debtors to discharge medical debt and protect their assets from seizure by creditors. To find out how you can discharge medical debt in bankruptcy, please contact a Dallas-Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney today.