When a medical emergency occurs people generally go to a medical professional for help. In these situations, the last thing on many Michigan residents' minds is the cost of the care. They often just want the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to do whatever they can to fix the issue and get them on the road to recovery.
As many Michigan residents are aware, in today's world, it can be difficult to avoid debt. With credit cards that offer ease of use and medical bills that can be impossibly expensive, debt is a reality that many Michigan residents have to face. Once mired in debt, it might seem like escape is all but impossible. However, for those stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of debt, there are options.
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.
Many Wayne County residents spend their lives with strict financial priorities and goals in place. They pay their bills on time, avoid carrying credit card debt and add to their savings each month. The possibility of ever filing for bankruptcy is probably the furthest thing from these individuals' minds. But staying well-informed financially means having at least a basic understanding of one's legal rights and options should the unexpected occur.
Student loans have become a double-edged sword in recent years. While they make obtaining a college education possible for many who could not otherwise afford it, they can come back to haunt young people after graduation.
There is a common assumption in the United States that the key to eliminating heavy debt is simply buckling down, working hard and paying down the debt over time. While this often romanticized scenario may be possible in some cases, many people throughout Michigan are saddled with insurmountable debt through no fault of their own. In many cases, paying the full amount of debt is simply impossible.
As some readers are already aware, medical debt is one of the leading factors for individuals who decide to declare bankruptcy. Medical debt nearly always appears by surprise and when one is suffering from a serious injury or illness, it is hard to get back to work to start making payments on that debt.
Americans now hold a total of nearly $800 billion in credit card debt, making it one of the largest sources of debt for families. Around the holidays many find that debt can start to balloon, as hosting parties, travel expenses, and gifts begin to add up. This spending typically doesn’t come to light until January when our credit card statements arrive, but when they do it can be a shocking moment.
A lot of Michigan readers are already familiar with the activist movement Occupy Wall Street. Less well known is the off-shoot group Strike Debt, aimed specifically at advocating for consumers and borrowers struggling with debt. One project of this group has been to buy consumer debt from credit companies in the same way that a debt collection firm would, for pennies on the dollar.
Think about the last time you got a bill from your doctor or hospital. Even if you have great insurance coverage, the initial cost was probably very high. Today, as insurance changes and more cost is being moved to patients, more and more people in Detroit are feeling the financial burden of going to a doctor. Even a short office visit for a minor problem could result in a bill for hundreds of dollars. It's no secret, then, that hospitals are having even more trouble collecting payments from patients.