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When Florida residents contemplate filing bankruptcy, often it is because they are struggling to pay off a looming mountain of medical debt.

Statistical data from a Harvard study shows that annually one in five adults in the United States are unable to pay their medical bills. All it takes is one catastrophe like a major auto accident or cancer diagnosis to set off the chain reaction likely to result in a consumer bankruptcy when the debtor runs out of options.

Below are some frightening statistics that average Americans faced in 2013.

— Almost 17 million adults between 19 and 64 will see their credit ratings drop due to unpaid medical bills.

— Of the American adults under age 65, 56 million will struggle to pay off their medical bills.

— More than 15 million Americans will wipe out their life savings paying off hospital and doctor bills.

— Collection agencies will hound over 35 million Americans with medical debts.

— More than 11 million will incur credit card debt in order to pay down their hospital bills.

— More than 16 million children are part of households with medical bills they can’t pay.– Almost 10 million adults aged 19 to 64 won’t be able to afford the basic necessities of life such as food, rent and heat because of excessive medical bills.

— In order to save money, more than 25 million Americans will fail to take their prescription medicine as directed. They will split pills, skip doses, reduce dosage and delay getting their refills because they can’t afford it.

If medical bills have left you with more debt than you can manage, you are not alone and there is help out there. Contact a Florida bankruptcy attorney to help get your financial life back on track.

Source: NerdWallet, “NerdWallet Health finds Medical Bankruptcy accounts for majority of personal bankruptcies” Nov. 06, 2014