Debt is becoming an increasingly serious problem for Indiana residents as well as the rest of the United States. According to surveys conducted by QuoteWizard, almost 80 million Americans have a notable amount of medical debt and 12% of Americans’ income are spent on medical costs. Additionally, around 15% of Americans owe money for medical bills upwards of $10,000. Indiana residents also struggle heavily with medical costs with an estimated 47% of Hoosiers having medical debts. If you’re struggling with medical debts, we encourage you to contact medical bill lawyers to go over options to make your medical debt more manageable.
Indiana’s Medical Debt
In 2021, the Indiana Community Action Association (INCAA) conducted a survey evaluating the current state of debt in Indiana. The INCAA used 22 local agencies to cover different demographics in all 92 Indiana counties to survey a total of 5,882 people. The survey found that 2,769 people out of 5,882 have medical debts. Most of those surveyed had over $1,000 in medical debts, and a third of those who were found to have medical debts are over $10,000 in debt.
The INCAA survey also found that medical debts were most likely to be in collections. Out of the reported debt statistics, 35% of all debts in collections were medical, which surpassed other forms of debt. 25% of debts in collections were credit card related, and 20% were student loan debts.
What Should I Do If I Have Medical Debts?
Some medical providers may set up a payment plan for you. If the debt has already gone to collections, this may be difficult. If the medical debt has gone to lawsuit or a judgement against you, a payment plan is unlikely.
In these situations, or if your medical debts have become overwhelming, you can declare bankruptcy. Although many view bankruptcy as inherently negative, it can have a positive effect on your ability to rebuild your credit. 62% of all bankruptcies include significant medical debt despite the fact that medical bankruptcy is not a term listed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. You can discharge the medical debt by filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy because medical debts are generally what is described as “unsecured debts”. Unsecured debt is a term meaning that there’s nothing tangibly connected to your debt that could be used as collateral, such as a car or house, which would both be secured debts.
Whether you take on your medical debt by attempting to negotiate or by declaring bankruptcy, you should consider talking to a lawyer. A seasoned bankruptcy lawyer will discuss your options and help you make a plan to clear your medical debt.
Contact Indiana Bankruptcy Lawyers
Declaring bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of, and you may have an easier time recovering from your medical debts by declaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can also learn more about the benefits of bankruptcy and how it relates to medical debt by reading other resources on our website. If you or a loved one are overwhelmed with medical debts, consider contacting Indiana bankruptcy attorneys. Here at Sawin & Shea, LLC, we’ve helped numerous clients through the bankruptcy process so that they could become debt-free. We’ll work with you to help you discharge your debts and manage any existing debts after the bankruptcy process. If you’re ready to learn about how we can help you, speak with one of our attorneys at (317) 759-1483, or you can schedule a free consultation with one of our bankruptcy lawyers by clicking here.