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Medical debt a challenge for scores of millions of Americans

Maybe you were recently contacted by a collection agency concerning an alleged failure to pay a medical bill.

That would hardly qualify you as being exceptional in any negative way. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that a whopping 54 million Americans -- which obviously encompasses quite a few Floridians -- had a hard time attending to one or more medical debts last year.

Among those people, it is estimated that about 41 million of them -- about 20 percent of all adults in the United States -- received an unwanted contact from a collection agency.

That figure is likely to be deemed quite stunning by most people, and in fact it does reveal in a most stark way how serious a problem medical debt is in the United States. Medical bills piling up have been cited by millions of Americans as the primary catalyst that led them to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

That is not the preordained outcome in most cases, but many debt experts say it is a good strategy to employ in many instances. One consumer advocate calls it a good-sense and even compelling option in many cases, since medical debt can be erased through filing and a heavily strapped debtor -- some people are squared off against hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt -- can get a chance for a fresh financial start.

And here’s a benefit of bankruptcy that many people are likely unaware of: Credit scores typically begin improving quickly -- sometimes even immediately -- owing to debt being erased.

A proven Florida debt relief attorney can answer questions concerning medical debt and provide strong representation to any person seeking bankruptcy protection.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "How to stop medical bills from going to a collection agency," Lisa Zamosky, July 5, 2013

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