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Latinos facing difficulty affording medical bills

The cost of healthcare is expensive. Unfortunately, those who cannot afford insurance face even higher healthcare costs. When an individual must face high medical expenses coupled with other financial challenges found in this struggling economy, including unemployment or a drop in wages, he may be unable to make his payments. This burden, coupled with creditor harassment, can drive an individual facing financial difficulty into an extremely stressful situation and depression.

According to a new study, Latinos are facing an especially difficult time when it comes to medical debt. The study shows almost 25 percent of Latinos will have difficulty paying their medical bills in 2013. In addition, 51 percent of Latinos will find themselves uninsured during the year. These financial burdens may lead Latinos to skip medications and checkups that may save their lives. Fortunately, these individuals may take action to achieve debt relief.

While Latinos file personal bankruptcy at a lower rate than other racial groups, any person facing financial hardship brought on my medical debt may find bankruptcy in his best interest. Through a Chapter 7 filing, a petitioner can seek to eliminate debt by have his assets liquidated to pay off creditors. Any remaining debt will then be forgiven. Under Chapter 13, debt is reorganized to reach more manageable payments. Many facing medical debt choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as it allows the person to obtain a new start, but the decision should be discussed with an attorney in order to assess what is best for the petitioner.

Unexpected life changes can throw a wrench in anyone's financial life. Yet, these individual's do not have to face a lifetime of stress, depression, and creditor harassment. Instead, an experienced attorney can walk an individual through the process of filing for bankruptcy and help him reach the fresh financial start he deserves.

Source: Fox New Latino, "NerdWallet: Medical Bankruptcy Is On The Rise, One In Four Latinos Struggle To Pay Bills," Napala Pratini, Aug. 15, 2013