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Medical debt can unravel a Tennessean's finances

Some Tennesseans think of bankruptcy as a bailout for those who made reckless financial choices. They picture buying fancy cars, going on lavish vacations and living in monster homes. But the reality is often far different. The reality is that most Tennesseans are prudent with their hard-earned funds. Sure, they may splurge here and there, but the bulk of their finances are used carefully. What usually leaves their finances in a difficult position are the vagaries of life like an injury or illness that ends in massive medical debt.

Cannot happen to you? Think again. Almost a third of insured Americans have been the recipient of a surprise medical bill because they thought their health insurance covered when it did not. That shock can have lingering effects. Not only is the surprise bill unplanned, it is often large, too large for the person to pay down with cash on hand. And that triggers yet further ill effects as the medical debt hurdles toward collection status, harming the person's credit score just as it becomes most important.

This sequence happens more than readers might think. Indeed, nationwide, one in five consumers have unpaid medical debt staining their credit score. On average the amount owed was about $600.

For Tennesseans socked with a staggeringly severe bill, there can be little hope of recovering. The bill cannot be paid; when it isn't, still more fees are triggered and compounded like a snowball gathering speed as it moves down a mountainside.

Fortunately, Tennesseans do not have to wait until the impending avalanche crushes them. They can get a fresh start through bankruptcy. To learn whether that is the right choice, Tennesseans may benefit from discussing their circumstances with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Source: CNBC, "Avoid the pain of a surprise medical bill," Kelli B. Grant, Aug. 28, 2015

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Mark T. Young & Associates
2895 Northpoint Blvd.
Hixson, TN 37343

Toll Free: 888-376-0282
Phone: 423-933-1606
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