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Reasons why medical debt hits many people particularly hard

A recent media article on a debt-strapped consumer stresses the singular nature of medical debt and its often outsized effect on a person’s life.

That effect can be extremely adverse, and often is for many people across the country, including in Florida.

Indeed, it can be pronounced and with flatly dire repercussions that are not duplicated with other types of debt. Richard Cordray, the director of the national Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, stresses that point when he refers to the comparative lack of visibility associated with medical debt.

Unlike the case with other forms of debt that is incurred, Cordray notes, medical costs “are often unknown until after treatment.”

That makes for an especially slippery slope when an unexpected medical crisis unfolds and myriad services are being rendered without a patient even remotely understanding what the ultimate costs will be.

One thing is assured, in virtually every case: They will be pricey. In fact, in many instances they will be so unduly expensive that a consumer’s life will be turned virtually upside down, with the need for debt relief becoming a flat imperative.

One person profiled in a recent media story who has a lingering debt problem related to an unresolved medical bill notes the adverse impact that his collection-related struggle has had on his credit score. In turn, that falling score has cut off a number of financing options that might otherwise have been available to him.

“I fight it because I know it’s wrong,” he says.

Many people in similar circumstances might opt for the same strategy. In doing so, they might find that their chance of securing an optimal outcome in their debt matter is materially improved by the close input of a proven bankruptcy attorney standing alongside them.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Medical debt can have long-term consequences," Tim Grant, June 11, 2014

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