Medical debt, student loans frequently cited in bankruptcy

No matter how healthy a person’s diet may be or how often he or she exercises, it is nearly impossible to avoid serious medical problems. Whether because of an illness, accident or other unexpected event, at some point in time most people in Connecticut will need to seek medical care. Even for seemingly minor health issues, the resulting medical bills can be debilitating. Those medical bills are a driving factor in many personal bankruptcy filings.

There were approximately 12.8 million personal bankruptcy filings between Oct. 2005 and Sept. 2017. The vast majority of these filings were due to unexpected changes in financial circumstances. A sudden loss of income due to job loss is just one of those unexpected changes, but emergency medical problems are a much bigger issue. According to a study from the American Journal of Public Health, medical issues and bills are at least partially responsible for 66.5% of all personal bankruptcy filings.

Of course medical bills are not the only problem that people in Connecticut face. That same study also found that 45% of people also cited unaffordable mortgages. Student loans, divorce and helping out relatives or friends were also significant contributing factors.

While the reasons behind a person’s decision to file for bankruptcy are unique and can vary greatly, there are some common factors with which many people struggle. In terms of personal bankruptcy, medical debt is one of the biggest financial hurdles. Although it can be extremely frustrating to seek necessary medical treatment only to come away with an enormous bill, filing for bankruptcy can help an individual pursue the debt relief that he or she needs.