Take Charge of Exorbitant Medical Bills and Out-of-Control Credit Card Debt with a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Injuries or illnesses, job losses, and out-of-control spending are the leading factors which put people into financial distress. The nation’s bankruptcy laws provide a means to help people avoid financial ruin, recover from financial disasters and make a fresh start. The law office of Lanna Martin Kilgore, PLLC in Bowling Green helps people rid themselves of unbearable medical bills and credit card debt with the help of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Medical Bills are Unsecured Debts
The enormous cost of medical bills is the number one reason behind most bankruptcy filings. A serious or prolonged illness may require expensive tests and treatment or hospitalization; some medications cost hundreds of dollars just for a single dose. Even with health insurance, a severe illness or injury can quickly wipe out a family’s life savings, and if the patient is the primary wage earner, then the accompanying loss of income may simply make it impossible to pay off the doctors and hospitals. Fortunately, bankruptcy can help.
Medical bills are considered unsecured debt, which is dischargeable in Chapter 7. It is important to file your bankruptcy before the doctor or hospital sues you and obtains a judgment against you. While certain judgments may be discharged in bankruptcy, it can be a more difficult and complicated process. Also, a doctor or hospital with a judgment against you may take steps to collect that judgment by placing a lien on your property or other means, which can turn your previously dischargeable unsecured debt into a secured debt with additional complications.
Credit Card Debt is Dischargeable in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
After medical bills and job loss, credit card debt is the next leading cause of bankruptcy. Just about every consumer bankruptcy contains some amount of credit card debt that the consumer simply cannot pay off. When you think about all the different types of cards people tend to accumulate over time – gas cards, department store charge cards, major credit cards – it may not seem surprising to learn that many households have ten or a dozen active credit cards.
Of the nation’s cardholders, most carry a revolving balance over $10,000. When you consider interest on that amount ranging from 13% to 25% or more, it is easy to see how a credit card balance can get out of control. To make matters worse, credit card companies actively market their products to students and low-income individuals who may be attracted to the promise of credit and are likely to over-utilize their cards and run up a large balance, but who are least able to pay them off.
The situation quickly becomes desperate when someone in the household gets hits with a job loss, and the family starts using their card to pay bills and buy groceries, without any way to pay it back.
So long as you continue to make your monthly payment, the credit card companies don’t care how high your balance gets. But start missing payments, and you will quickly see that they are not very forgiving, as your interest rate balloons and you are hit with late charges (which also accumulate interest). Fortunately, like medical debt, credit card debt is unsecured and can be discharged in bankruptcy.
Making major purchases on installment plans seems reasonable and is often the only way to buy a needed household appliance or luxury item, but these plans come with the same interest pitfalls as credit cards, including low-interest introductory or teaser rates that balloon to astronomical proportions the minute you miss a payment.
Get Help with Credit Card Debt & Medical Bills from an Experienced Bowling Green Bankruptcy Attorney
A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can put a stop to repossessions, wage garnishments and other attempts to get money out of you when you can’t pay your bills, providing you with a way to repay or discharge those debts and get a fresh start. In Western Kentucky, contact Lanna Martin Kilgore, PLLC to get help from an experienced Bowling Green bankruptcy lawyer.