Portland Bankruptcy: Medical Bill Bankruptcy Alternatives

In a typical year over 1 million Americans will file for bankruptcy.  For those in Oregon over 50% are due to unpaid medical bills.  If you have received medical treatment lately then you know that the bills may be small on a individual basis but the totals for any type of treatment or procedure can add up fast.  Many times our Portland Oregon bankruptcy clients will turn to their credit cards to fund those bills. This only delays the payments and shifts the burden to the credit cards

Studies on a National basis, and this holds true in cities like Portland, Beaverton and Tigard, that 21% of those over the age of 21 have some type of unpaid medical bills.  On the same token, about 20% of all bankruptcy filings in Oregon also have at least 1200.00 in medical bills.  Some 13% of bankruptcy filings have 10,000.00 of medical bills being discharged.  The odd thing is that many of these bankrutcy clients have medical insurance.  The co-pays and co-insurance are the amounts that are unpaid.

As an alternative to filing bankruptcy many of our Portland and Beaverton  clients have been able to turn to the hospitals for helps.  Most major institutions in the Portland area will have programs that can forgive or reduce the amount owed. Many times the hospitals or providers will be able to offer interest free payments on the debt for an extended period of time.  The funding for these programs will usually come from the hospitals charity sections or special grants that have been set up for just these types of pre bankruptcy cases.

However you will need to act fast when pursuing a medical debt settlement or workout.  You need to contact the provider before they turn the account over to a collection agency for the best shot of a workout.  One reason our bankruptcy lawyers see so many bankruptcies filed as a result of medical bills is that the collectors of medical debt are ruthless.  We typically find them to be the hardest to work with and the quickest to sue and seek a wage garnishment or bank levy.  In many cases it makes more sense for our clients to file a Chapter 7 or even a Chapter 13 in Oregon Bankruptcy Court then it would be to try to settle or make payment arriagnement with medical debt.   

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