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Debt challenges can come from unexpected sources

Regular readers of our blog in Florida and elsewhere know that the sources leading to debt troubles and, sometimes, bankruptcy, are many and varied.

And they are often beyond the control of debtors who are acting responsibly and in good faith to manage expenses, contain costs and stay above water with creditors.

Take medical debt, for instance. Medical costs can be a particularly pernicious cause of debt-related problems, for myriad reasons.

For starters, medical debt is often unexpected, meaning that, when it does occur, it has an immediately adverse effect on a consumer's ability to handle other -- and more routine -- expenses.

And, as we all know, medical outlays can be flatly exorbitant.

A recent media article examines another type of debtor headache that, similarly to medical debt, can arise without warning and upend personal finances in a material -- even life-altering -- way.

That debt comes courtesy of the IRS, which on occasion visits an innocent ex-spouse with a letter demanding payment for tax fraud committed by a former partner.

A bit more on that. Many of our readers might not know that an innocent spouse's signature affixed to a joint tax return during marriage renders that person liable for irregularities that the IRS subsequently uncovers, even years later and following a divorce.

In other words: A person with no knowledge of an ex-partner's financial wrongdoing can suddenly experience years later a bank-account freeze or wage garnishment to satisfy a past tax debt.

The consequences of that can obviously be severe. It is in fact quite easy to contemplate how bankruptcy can result from tax-related exactions on an innocent spouse.

Any financial difficulty -- regardless of source -- can make it imperative for a struggling consumer to seek debt relief. A proven bankruptcy attorney can provide assistance and help identify options for resolving debt challenges.

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