According to a report published by the American Journal of Medicine, more than 60 percent of all bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2007 were prompted by medical bills. About three-quarters of the people who filed even had health insurance. Their debts were mainly the result of high copays, large deductibles, and gaps in their coverage.
With the rapidly increasing costs of medical care across the country, these numbers have likely persisted or possibly even gone up. They’re a major reason why health care and medical insurance feature so prominently in political discourse.
If you’re burdened by excessive medical debt and are looking for financial relief, we invite you to discuss your case with the Chattanooga medical debt lawyers at Tom Bible Law. We can equip you with experienced legal guidance and help you secure your financial burden through bankruptcy. With conveniently located offices in Chattanooga, Tullahoma, and Kingsport, we accept clients from all over Tennessee and North Georgia.
Can Bankruptcy Help Manage Your Medical Debt?
The idea that bankruptcy is just for people who are careless or taking advantage of the system is a common but seriously misguided myth. In reality, most people who file for bankruptcy are doing so because of an unavoidable crisis, such as a medical problem. With the cost of health care across the country, it can be impossible for most families to conceivably prepare for these unforeseen events.
Medical debt can leave you vulnerable to creditor harassment and debt collectors who threaten you with wage garnishment, lawsuits, or other legal actions. Fortunately, after you file a bankruptcy petition, the court will issue an automatic stay, which stops creditors from taking these kinds of actions against you and even from contacting you outside of the context of the court.
For many struggling with medical debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best solution, because it’s designed to wipe out unsecured debts—debts not backed by property (another example would be credit card debt). It does this through liquidating qualifying assets to pay specific debts and discharging others. However, since many assets under certain values are exempted, most families who file for Chapter 7 actually do not sell many assets and frequently they don’t sacrifice any at all.
Resolving Your Medical Debt
To explore all your options for eliminating medical debt, it’s important to consult with a bankruptcy attorney who is extensively familiar with health care-related debt relief. They can help you determine if Chapter 7 is right for you, discuss your alternatives, file your petition, gather supporting documentation, communicate with creditors and court-appointed trustees, and leverage the local and federal laws to protect your assets from liquidation.
Discuss your case with our Chattanooga-based medical debt lawyers today by calling (423) 690-7712.