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Number one reason for bankruptcy: medical debt

There is all too often a stigma associated with financial challenges. Wayne County residents are likely familiar with the social pressure to keep up appearances, to hide their struggles away from friends, family and coworkers. But study after study show that more Americans are in need of a fresh start today, and maybe not for the reason people typically think.

The main factor underlying bankruptcy claims in this country is, in fact, the cost of health care. More people (approximately four in 10) are fighting off debt collectors today over medical debt than they are over credit card debt. You could combine what Americans pay for credit card debt and bank loans and it would still only be a third of what we pay for debt related to health care.

This is due in part to the unpredictable nature of medical costs. Not only do you not necessarily know when you're going to get sick or hurt and need care, but around two thirds of Americans get medical bills that are higher than they expected. Maybe a hospital brought in an out-of-network provider to perform a procedure at the last minute, or maybe it was just a coding error, but when Worcester residents suddenly get a bill for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, few could take that hit in stride.

For those who want an alternative to filing for bankruptcy when facing unmanageable medical debt, debt negotiation may be an option. However, not every company offering these services is legitimate. Being informed before you approach a debt relief agency is key, and consulting with a legal professional can help residents proceed from a position of solid information and understanding of the law.

Source: The Atlantic, "Why Americans Are Drowning in Medical Debt," Olga Khazan, Oct. 8, 2014

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    Posted by MaryDecember 11, 2015

    "I am overwhelmed by your response to my call, even 10 years after my bankruptcy was discharged. You have more knowledge and expertise than I could have imagined. Because of you, my fears have been put to rest. For that, I'm so very grateful. Thank you many times over. "

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    Posted by ClientOctober 26, 2010

    "... I was extremely impressed with Charles' understanding of the bankruptcy laws to the extent that I felt certain that my best interests were always at the forefront. "

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    Posted by MarleneJanuary 8, 2014

    He helped me thru my 1st bankruptcy and now the second. I had no idea what to expect , but they kept me informed and answered all my questions. Mr. Schneider is the most experienced and knowledgeable lawyer I have ever met. If you have to file call this attorney first!

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