Why Medical Bills May Be the Cause of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in the United States

Health insurance is expensive in the United States, largely because it is a highly privatized industry being unduly regulated by the federal government, which results in the federal government mandating many types of coverage that many people don’t want and don’t need. Providers of health insurance do their best to create plans that protect their clients’ well-being, but that comes at a great cost for a variety of reasons. If you do not have access to health insurance because the monthly health insurance premiums and the mandatory deductibles are so high, a sudden high medical expense might create severe debt. If you are struggling with medical bills and other debts, Behm Law Group Ltd. can help you navigate the process of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Worthington, MN.

Much debate has occurred about the percentage of bankruptcy cases caused by medical debt. Finding evidence of whether bankruptcy cases due to medical bills are on the rise is difficult because there are often several factors that lead to a case.

To understand the causes of a Chapter 13 case, it’s important to know exactly how this type of bankruptcy case functions and how it can be applied to certain financial circumstances.

Chapter 13 is a reorganization bankruptcy process. When you file for Chapter 13, you will work with your attorney to create a proposal for your debts to be reorganized into a repayment plan lasting three to five years. If your income is lower than the state median for a similar household, you will have a three-year plan, and if it’s higher than the median income, you’ll have a five-year plan. In your repayment plan, you’ll typically repay secured debts in full (i.e., mortgage or car), your priority debts in full (i.e., most tax debts, criminal fines and any debts technically exempt from bankruptcy), and your unsecured debts in part (i.e., credit card debt and medical bills). The amount you’ll pay of your unsecured debts depends on the amount they would receive from the hypothetical liquidation of your non-exempt assets in the event you had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief instead.

Put simply, the conditions for a Chapter 13 case to be effective are a steady income on behalf of the filer, debts that will be partially or fully discharged in the case, and the willingness of the filer to make regular payments for the duration of their plan.

Because medical bills are often discharged in full in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case and because those bills are often so high that they still affect those with steady incomes, the rise in medical debts today may be creating an equal increase in Chapter 13 cases.  Some studies show that up to 65% of bankruptcies yearly may be a result of medical debt. While it is difficult to discern an exact, single cause of a bankruptcy case, many reports show that medical debt is among the driving causes.

/areas-worthington.phpIf you are struggling with medical and other debts, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 for more information about filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Worthington, MN.

Handling Social Security Overpayments Through Bankruptcy

If you’re retired or disabled, you’re most likely receiving social security payments from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), and it may also be likely that those checks are your main source of income.

If you’re struggling with debts and on a strict budget, you may need to find debt relief through filing for bankruptcy. If you do choose to file for bankruptcy, you can find guidance and protection with the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. Our attorneys can help you build a strong case and file a successful bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN.

When you file for bankruptcy relief, all your financial information is pertinent to the trustee assigned to your case. This might even include overpayments made through the social security system.

 

SSA Overpayments

When the SSA issues checks, there are occasions when they make an overpayment to a retired or disabled individual. You may not even be aware of that overpayment, and you may never be unless the SSA requests a repayment of that overpayment or if you file for bankruptcy. In the event you file for bankruptcy, these overpayments are considered debts you owe back to the SSA. While this seems unfair, these debts can still be discharged in the bankruptcy process.

 

Overpayment Debt

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debts will be discharged in exchange for the liquidation of your non-exempt assets. Most government debts, like unpaid taxes or criminal fines are not subject to discharge. However, SSA overpayment debts can be discharged and most likely will be because they are treated as unsecured debts, just like your credit card and medical debt.

If you file for Chapter 13, an overpayment debt will only have to be repaid partially, depending on how large your chapter 13 plan payments are. The amount you’ll have to repay will be included in a three-to-five-year repayment plan along with the rest of your reorganized debts.

 

Discharge Objection

The SSA can object to the discharge of your overpayment debts if they can prove you are abusing the system or committing fraud. For example, if you’ve provided false information on your case documents or SSA applications, your discharge may be rejected.

If you’re unable to make a repayment to the SSA on the grounds of overpayment debt, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today for more information about filing for bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN, at (507) 387-7200.

Filing for Bankruptcy Again: Waiting Periods and Other Important Details

If you’re working through a difficult financial time, you may have begun looking for debt relief options already. Certain debt relief options might be more useful to you than others, depending on your situation. However, keep in mind that any kind of relief is a difficult, complex process. Because of this, it can be extremely helpful to work through a debt relief process like bankruptcy because the debt relief you obtain is certain and permanent and legally enforceable against your creditors. When you choose to file for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, Behm Law Group Ltd. provides the support and guidance you need to build a strong, successful case with long-term beneficial results.

Many people won’t experience a bankruptcy, but for those who do, they will find that it affects their lives in many ways. If filers finish their case, but later find themselves in a similar financial situation, they have the option of filing for bankruptcy relief again.

Sometimes, people will encounter difficult and unavoidable financial troubles after having already filed for bankruptcy relief.  Repeat bankruptcy filings are allowed by the bankruptcy code. The requirements for debtors to file another bankruptcy case largely include waiting periods between the dates of filing of the respective bankruptcy cases.

Waiting Periods for Individuals

There are two types of bankruptcy that individual, wage-earner consumers typically file:

  • Chapter 7 (liquidation bankruptcy): For debts discharged in exchange for non-exempt asset liquidation during a Chapter 7 case, the waiting period until you can file for a second chapter 7 bankruptcy is eight (8) years. For example, if someone files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief on August 8, 2010 that person would have to wait until August 9, 2018 to be able to file another chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
  • Chapter 13 (reorganization/partial-payment bankruptcy): Any debts discharged or repaid in a three- or five-year Chapter 13 repayment plan have a waiting period of two (2) years. This theoretically means you could qualify for a second Chapter 13 case while you are still making payments in your first chapter 13 case.  Theoretically, you, could be in repeat chapter 13 bankruptcy for years.  Most chapter 13 bankruptcy cases last three (3) years.  For instance, if one files for chapter 13 bankruptcy relief on August 8, 2010, one would be done with that case roughly by August 8, 2013.  Immediately thereafter, one could qualify for and file a second chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
  • Chapter 7 (liquidation bankruptcy) After Having Filed a Chapter 13 (reorganization/partial-payment bankruptcy): If someone has filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy relief and has completed their chapter 13 plan and received a discharge, one can subsequently file a chapter 7 bankruptcy case if one needs to do so.  The time period between such filings is six (6) years.  So, if someone files for chapter 13 bankruptcy relief on August 8, 2010, one could file a chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding August 9, 2016. 
  • Chapter 13 (reorganization/partial-payment bankruptcy) After Having Filed a Chapter 7 (liquidation bankruptcy): If someone has filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief and has received a chapter 7 discharge, one can subsequently file a chapter 13 bankruptcy case.  The time period between such filings is four (4) years.  So, if someone files for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief on August 8, 2010, one could file a chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding August 9, 2014.

While no one actually wants to file for bankruptcy again, sometimes one can encounter life hardships and financial difficulties that are simply out of one’s control.  Many people have to file for bankruptcy relief a second or, even, third time.  Medical emergencies which may not be fully covered by insurance, the death of a spouse resulting in only one (1) household income source where two (2) household incomes are necessary to cover daily living expenses and natural disasters which may destroy homes where insurance coverage is insufficient are just a few examples of how people may have a need to file for bankruptcy relief a second or third time.  

To learn more about filing for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. today at (507) 387-7200.

Overview of Some Bankruptcy Statistics since 2005

In 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) became law in response to the rapid spike in individual consumer bankruptcies. The difficult economy of the early 2000s pushed many people into serious debt, and filing for bankruptcy was the best option available to them for long-term debt relief. However, it also created a situation in which bankruptcy fraud became more prevalent. To counteract this, the BAPCPA was passed, but since then, a lot has changed in the U.S. economy. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy relief in Marshall, MN, Behm Law Group Ltd. can help you navigate the BAPCPA and other bankruptcy laws to build a strong, successful Chapter 7, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13 case.

 

After the BAPCPA was passed in 2005, the bankruptcy numbers changed dramatically. There was a decline in the number of Chapter 7 cases filed because the act created more strict requirements to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. From 2005 to 2017, 12.8 million consumer bankruptcies were filed, with an average of 68% Chapter 7 cases and 32% Chapter 13 cases. Even with the passage of the BAPCPA, the ratio of Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 is still high.

 

In 2008, the crashed economy sent more people into bankruptcy, and by 2010, the United States saw the highest filing of bankruptcy cases since before the passage of the BAPCPA. The total number of consumer bankruptcies filed in 2010 was 1,538,033 with 1,105,534 Chapter 7 cases and 430,583 Chapter 13 cases. By 2017, as the economy stabilized, the total of consumer bankruptcies was 767,721 with 61.50% Chapter 7 cases and 38.36% Chapter 13 cases. In comparison, the 2005 total of consumer bankruptcies was more than 2 million nationwide.

 

Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana filed the highest percentage of consumer bankruptcies from 2006 to 2017, likely due in part to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Between 2006 and 2017, 92% of the 25 states contributing the most to the total of national consumer bankruptcies were southern states.

 

In 2011, however, California filers made up 17% of the national consumer bankruptcy filings.  In contrast, Alaska had less than 1,000 filings that same year. In 2016, Alabama had as many as 1 in 112 households filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

 

The most common causes of consumer bankruptcy reported in 2005 included medical bills and credit card debt as significant factors. Since then, the causes of bankruptcy have expanded in variety, including job loss, income reduction, unexpected expenses, and divorce. The average filer today is middle-aged, married, and making less than $30,000 a year.

 

The changes in bankruptcy statistics since the establishment of the BAPCPA in 2005 have manifested in many different ways, including rates of bankruptcy, types of bankruptcy, and circumstances of the filer.

 

To learn more about bankruptcy in Marshall, MN, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or at stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com today.

Protection of Disabled Veterans with the Extension of a Bankruptcy Code Bill

The U.S. federal government works in many ways to protect the rights and wellbeing of military veterans, recognizing their work and sacrifice for our country. Despite this, many veterans still struggle in different ways. Unless you’ve served the required minimum of 20 years, it’s likely that you aren’t on a government pension or health care plan that provides the support you need.

 

If you’re a veteran struggling to make ends meet financially, you are not alone. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. you can file a successful bankruptcy case for long-term stability. Thanks to the bankruptcy code, in Owatonna, MN and across the country, veterans have certain rights throughout their bankruptcy filing process.

 

In August of 2019, the HAVEN (Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need) act was passed, allowing the protection of veteran disability payments as disposable income in bankruptcy cases. Creditors, trustees and debt collectors now cannot seize those funds if a disabled veteran files for bankruptcy. This bankruptcy code legislation means that these funds cannot legally be considered as the disposable income in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.

 

In a Chapter 13 case, a filer’s debts are reorganized into a manageable repayment plan suited to their income. In this plan, disposable income and discretionary income are treated differently. If the filer’s veteran disability income is no longer considered disposable, the filer can use that money however they want during their repayment plan. In other words, the filer won’t have to use their veteran disability funds to make payments on their bankruptcy repayment plan unless they choose to do so.

 

In a Chapter 7 case, filer’s debts are discharged in exchange for the liquidation of their non-exempt assets. They are also allowed to claim various exemptions depending on their debt amounts to protect their home, car, and other properties. However, to qualify for Chapter 7, filers have to pass the Means Test. To pass this test, their income-to-debt ratio has to be below the state median income for a similar sized household. In the Means Test, the filer’s disposable income plays a part in determining their income-to-debt ratio. If a filer’s veteran disability income cannot be considered as disposable income, it might tip that ratio to qualify them for Chapter 7 when otherwise they would not be eligible.

 

The HAVEN act will protect the funds disabled veterans receive if they file for bankruptcy during the next four years. In 2023, the act will be reconsidered for potential changes, renewal, or termination. Learn more about the details of the 2019 HAVEN bill here. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and are a disabled veteran receiving funds from the government, you can rest easy with the knowledge that the bankruptcy code in Owatonna, MN will protect that source of income.

 

To learn more about bankruptcy or to get started on your case today, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or via email at stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com today.

Mortgage Options and Rebuilding after Bankruptcy in Luverne, MN

Owning a home is a big goal for individuals and families alike. In today’s world, however, buying a home is a difficult process that requires both good credit and a steady income. Unfortunately, those are conditions that many U.S. citizens don’t have in their lives. For many, the prospect of a mortgage isn’t even on the table. Those struggling with severe debts in addition to having a low income don’t have the option to buy a house unless they seek debt relief and take positive action to turn around their finances. Filing for bankruptcy is one option available to anyone qualifying, and with the help of Behm Law Group Ltd., you can file a successful case and begin rebuilding after bankruptcy in Luverne, MN.

 

Bankruptcy filing is generally offered to most individuals as a Chapter 7 liquidation or Chapter 13 reorganization process. This means your debts will either be discharged in exchange for asset liquidation of your non-exempt assets or reorganized into a repayment plan lasting three to five years and suited to your income. No matter which type of bankruptcy you file for, you’ll receive the benefits of debt relief and likely have long-term stability if you are wise with your finances.

 

While one effect of bankruptcy is debt relief, the other is a hit to your credit. The benefits of bankruptcy are not outweighed by the negative effects on your credit, but it is something you will have to deal with after you file. When it comes to buying a home, for example, you will face varying waiting periods before you can be approved for a mortgage.

 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

After you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have to wait two years until you can be considered for Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans. Any other private, conventional mortgage company requires a four-year wait period until it will consider you as a borrower. An FHA loan is offered through a system designed to help consumers struggling to get loans because of poor credit, bankruptcy filings, or other financial problems. FHA mortgages have lower down payments and lower credit score requirements.

 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have a two-year waiting period for FHA loans if you have made consistent payments on your chapter 13 plan. However, if you have made consistent payments on your chapter 13 plan for one full year, you may apply for an FHA mortgage consideration with the added recommendation and explanation of your case from your bankruptcy trustee.

 

For conventional loans, that waiting period is two years after the chapter 13 repayment plan is finished and the case is officially closed. If your case is dismissed for any reason, that waiting period is extended to four years.

 

Rebuilding after Bankruptcy

No matter which type of bankruptcy you file for, getting a mortgage afterward requires patience and intelligent planning/management of your finances. To learn more about filing for and rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy in Luverne, MN, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

 

Where Things Happen When You File for Bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN and the Surrounding Area

If you’re struggling to meet your debt payments month to month, it may be time for you to consider options for positive debt relief. One of the best long-term options available for individuals struggling with debt is bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a complex, nuanced legal process that’s difficult to work through without guidance, but with the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. attorneys, you can build a strong case for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN. Our attorneys will help you move through the bankruptcy process with confidence and expert advice at each step of the way.

 

Bankruptcy is highly nuanced and requires extensive financial documentation and participation from all parties involved. The participation involved means meetings and other requirements that you, as the filer, must perform. The locations of these meetings vary depending on where you live. For Pipestone, MN residents and those in the surrounding area, these locations and meetings include:

 

  • Attorney Meeting: If you choose to partner with Behm Law Group, Ltd, your attorney meeting will take place in Pipestone, MN at one of the rooms in the Pipestone County Courthouse. Our office is located at 403 South Broad Street in Suite 60, Mankato, MN, but we can and do meet with prospective clients anywhere. If you’re unable to meet with us in person, we can also meet over the telephone and maintain contact via email.
  • 341 Meeting: A meeting of the creditors, also known as the 341 meeting, is required participation for you where you and your lawyer meet with the chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee that the bankruptcy court assigns to review your bankruptcy case. The meeting takes place after you file your petition. In this meeting, the bankruptcy trustee will ask a series of questions about your debts, assets and petition overall. For Pipestone residents and those residing generally in the Pipestone area, your 341 meeting will take place in Mankato, MN at the U.S. Post Office building, if you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.  The Mankato Post Office building is located right across the street from our office.  If you file a chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, the 341 hearing will be conducted in the large conference room in the lower level of the Redwood County Courthouse in Redwood Falls, MN. If you live elsewhere in Minnesota, this list of 341 meetings by county will tell you what location the meeting will take place. Learn more about the 341 meeting here.
  • Bankruptcy Court: The U.S. Bankruptcy Court operates at a national and state level. Each state has various locations of court branches that serve different regions. Minnesota has bankruptcy courthouses in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and Fergus Falls. While bankruptcy filers will only have to meet at the courthouse to deal with rare and unusual conditions in their case, there are occasions in which you may have to travel to the court nearest to you. For Pipestone residents any issues that would need to be addressed by the bankruptcy court would be handled at the St. Paul courthouse.
  • Credit Counseling: Another requirement of bankruptcy is credit counseling. Filers must conduct a credit counseling course, either online or in person, within 180 days prior to filing their petitions. There are many court-approved credit counseling agencies in the Pipestone County region and surrounding areas, and you can easily find one suited to your schedule and location. The United States Department of Justice provides a search engine system to find local, approved credit counseling agencies here.

 

To learn more about filing for bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN or to get started on your case today, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200.

Understanding the Rise of Bankruptcy in Windom, MN and Nationwide

Filing for bankruptcy is a valuable way to finding long-term debt relief for either an individual or a business. If you’re struggling with your finances and find it difficult to meet debt payments each month, you may benefit greatly from filing a bankruptcy petition.

 

Taking positive steps to work through a bankruptcy case can secure a financial future and stabilize your life in many ways. Behm Law Group, Ltd. can provide the support, guidance, and legal protection you need to build a strong case for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Windom, MN and get the results you need for long-term financial wellness.

 

The two most common types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is also the most common type for businesses of all sizes. This chapter works to liquidate your non-exempt assets (properties and accounts) in exchange for the discharge of the majority of your debts.

 

Chapter 13, on the other hand, reorganizes your debts into a repayment plan customized to your income. This repayment plan lasts three to five years, and it may discharge a large percentage of your unsecured debts (i.e. credit card debt and medical bills).

 

If you do plan to file for bankruptcy, you’ ll not be alone among U.S. citizens. In fact, there has been a recent increase in bankruptcies across the country. While the rate of bankruptcy is still far below recession levels, there is an unmistakable uptick. The American Bankruptcy Institute recorded a 3% increase in bankruptcies from July of 2018 to July of this year, projecting a total of 796,000 cases compared to last year’s total of 777,000.

 

In contrast to this increase in bankruptcies, there has been a national average increase in minimum wages and an overall decrease in unemployment. So, why are there more bankruptcies?

 

The fact is that U.S. debt is incredibly high right now. The recorded debt for total consumer households is at $14 trillion, with credit card debt at $1 trillion. For perspective, the total debt of the 2008 recession was $1 trillion less than today’s debt. Unfortunately, on top of their debt, many individuals are still spending recklessly. Businesses and consumers alike are suffering from the national debt, as all economic conditions ripple through the U.S. financial systems. To learn more about these circumstances, explore the New York Post’s coverage.

 

You may find yourself in dire straits, financially speaking, from accumulated or sudden debts, and this may be a result of actions in or out of your hands. No matter how you got here, bankruptcy is available to you as an effective debt relief option.

 

To learn more about filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN and the surrounding area, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Why Chapter 13 Is Less Common than Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you’re not alone. Over 700,000 individuals file for bankruptcy each year in the United States. While those numbers have decreased significantly since the 2008 market crash, they still show that anyone can struggle financially in the face of many different factors. Filing for bankruptcy is a process designed to treat personal and business debts with a legal, federal court-administered relief program. However, filing for bankruptcy can also be a highly complex, nuanced system to navigate. The help of an expert bankruptcy attorney can turn a difficult case into a successful one with long-term debt relief. Behm Law Group Ltd. attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.

 

The two most frequently filed types of individual bankruptcies are Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Chapter 13 bankruptcy works to reorganize your debts into a manageable repayment plan suited to your income. This plan lasts three to five years depending on your income in comparison to the state average income of a similarly sized household. Chapter 7, on the other hand, works to liquidate your non-exempt assets in exchange for the discharge of your debts.

 

While both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are common bankruptcies for individuals, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed for much more frequently than Chapter 13. From 2006 to 2017, the ratio of Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 cases filed was on average 30% versus 70%. These ratios range from 75.09% of Chapter 7 bankruptcies versus 24.85% Chapter 13 bankruptcies in 2006, and 61.50% versus 31.94% in 2017 with fluctuations between. Historically, in the United States, every year’s total of cases shows more Chapter 7 bankruptcies than other type, and for good reason.

 

Bankruptcy isn’t something that people choose to go through if they can help it. Those who file for bankruptcy are truly struggling with debts and have other financial hardships, and they turn to bankruptcy as the best choice for help in resolving those issues. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you can understand the legal, mental, and general stress that those who file experience. On top of this, the most common cause of bankruptcy is unemployment. The stress of financial burdens and a typically lower income means that filers will more frequently qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a highly effective process for those with steady incomes. While you are more unlikely to have a significant amount of debt when you have a steady income, it’s completely possible to find yourself with heavy debts and a steady income. Typically, however, a low income is a primary cause of burdensome debt and leads to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case more often than not.

 

If you are struggling financially for any reason, filing for bankruptcy may be the best step to take for long-term debt relief. To learn more about Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief in Mankato, MN, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Top Three Causes of Bankruptcy in Waseca, MN

Over 700,000 cases of bankruptcy have been filed each year since the 2008 market crash. Though this number has decreased since its peak in 2010, there are still thousands of cases filed across the country.

 

If you’re struggling to meet monthly debt payments, it may be time for you to consider joining others who have used bankruptcy as an effective debt relief option and gain long-term financial wellbeing. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. you can navigate the nuanced waters of bankruptcy in Waseca, MN and file a successful case for Chapter 7, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief.

 

Bankruptcy is a process designed to support debtors, lenders, and the economy as a whole. Different systems of bankruptcy have been in place for centuries, and today’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court has several types of bankruptcy chapters established to treat individual and business debts.

 

For individuals filing for bankruptcy, the system provides solutions for the most common causes of their financial struggles. For many individuals, there are three primary sources that push them to the point of filing for bankruptcy.

 

  1. Medical Bills: Because the U.S. doesn’t provide national healthcare coverage, privatized health insurance companies are the only option for the majority of individuals. Because health insurance providers are private companies, they can be very expensive. In addition to this, medical care itself is very costly, from general check-ups to serious surgeries. For those who can’t afford health insurance, it’s nearly impossible to pay for any medical treatments. Several studies show that accumulated medical bills or sudden expenses are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the U.S.
  2. Unemployment: While the government provides support for the unemployed via unemployment compensation, it’s often not quite enough to make ends meet. Long-term unemployment will almost certainly create a situation of severe debt, especially if the individual has mortgages, credit card debt, or car loans to repay. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to help those without a steady income resolve debts that they cannot pay while unemployed.
  3. Divorce: The combination of legal fees, emotional turmoil, increases in living expenses, and a decrease in income as a result of divorce can all create a situation of financial struggle. The cost of divorce is high just in terms of court fees and legal representation, often meeting a minimum of $2,500. In addition, you lose the income of your ex-spouse, and your living expenses may actually increase. All of this makes divorce a main cause of bankruptcy, especially if the couple was facing financial struggles prior to the split.

 

If you’re considering bankruptcy for any of these reasons and more, you’re not alone. Choosing to take the next step and starting a bankruptcy petition will take you down a path to long-term financial stability. To learn more about bankruptcy in Waseca, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.