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Historically, a major reason for filing for bankruptcy has been insurmountable medical bills. While the past few years the economy has caused many to file for reasons other than that, it is still a factor cited by many seeking financial relief via bankruptcy. A Florida family is all too familiar with this.

The mother and father who have cared for two terminally ill sons were forced to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after the death of their first son. He was almost five when he died in 2007 from the same ailment his younger brother is living with– mitochondrial disease. This filing was necessary despite their mother cashing in her 401K, the family taking loans to pay medical bills that were not covered by insurance and the organization of fundraisers by friends.

The Chapter 13 filing allowed the family to keep their house and until recently they managed to make payments. Approaching the point when they would likely lose their home, the mother entered a competition, offered by the Gradient Gives Back Foundation, on a whim.

A Minnesota nonprofit, the foundation’s competition provided its winners mortgage payments for a year. After explaining the situation the family was in, they found out they were one of two winners. As a part of winning they not only received mortgage payments for a year but financial counseling for the length of their lives.

The president of the foundation indicated that the awards have been handed out for the last couple of years. The recipients are people who are facing financial issues that they cannot help. Winners are people who will likely be able to get back on track financially with just a little help.

While there are certainly many families in this situation, unfortunately this solution is not available to everyone. An experienced bankruptcy attorney should be able to provide options to individuals experiencing financial distress.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Struggling Deltona family wins year’s worth of mortgage payments,” Ludmilla Lelis, Dec. 17, 2011