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Staggering medical debt: It doesn't have to be a life-long curse

In the economic downturn of recent years, many Floridians and persons from elsewhere across the country have stated that it was a sudden and unforeseen job loss that created insurmountable financial problems for their family and resulted in bankruptcy. Others have noted that it was an unexpected expense or two that was charged on a credit card, with principal and interest payments subsequently becoming onerous over time and eventually beyond their means to pay.

Other debts and expenses readily configure into the mix for many people, as we have indicated in prior blog posts. Those run the gamut, from student debt and vehicle maintenance outlays to increasing tax obligations and rising consumer costs generally.

And, for many people, flatly staggering expenses confront them following a serious medical illness in their family. Medical debt is a sobering concern across the country for millions of Americans and a primary catalyst leading to financial crisis. It is not uncommon for an individual or family to owe hundreds of thousands of dollars following an injury or unexpected illness.

Money counselors often offer good-faith tips for persons seeking to keep health care costs under control (for example, securing at least catastrophic health coverage; using only "in-network" doctors; negotiating payment schedules), but expenses can quickly rise to prohibitive amounts for many people.

When that scenario becomes reality, an overwhelmed individual or family can turn to an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help secure needed debt relief and restore financial stability. Many people do not realize that spiraling and out-of-control medical costs are precisely the type of untenable debt that is dischargeable and afforded protection under American bankruptcy law.

An established bankruptcy attorney with a proven record of success helping clients cope with medical and other debt can answer questions and provide strong advocacy in any debt-related matter.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "5 ways to avoid medical debt," Ben Edwards, Feb. 28, 2013

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