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Historically, medical bills and credit card debt have been a catalyst for individuals throughout the Miami area to file for bankruptcy. Though the past few years, job losses have contributed greatly to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings, those due to medical bills and credit card debt have not dissipated. A recent survey conducted by a nonpartisan research organization, Demos, reports that the two types of debt are alive and well. In fact, perhaps not surprisingly, in many cases, the two appear to go hand-in-hand.

The online survey, which was conducted over the course of February and March of this year, involved 997 individuals whose credit cards had a balance for a minimum of at least three months. Of those individuals surveyed, more than 75 percent of them indicated that they had accumulated medical costs that had to be paid out-of-pocket, at some point within the previous three years. A little under two-thirds of those people said that at least some of the balance they were carrying on their credit cards was due to those medical costs. On average, the amount was $1,678.

Whatever the reason an individual is carrying excessive credit card debt, should the debt be too much to keep up with, fortunately, there are options. When it becomes too difficult to make payments on the debt and creditors start calling, filing a bankruptcy petition may be the best option. Once filed, the harassing phone calls will stop. Upon completion, many types of debt, including credit card debt will be discharged.

Taking control of one’s debt is the first step toward a financial fresh start. A Miami area bankruptcy attorney can help determine the best course of action.

Source: The New York Times, “Medical Costs Contribute to Credit Card Debt,” Ann Carrns, May 22, 2012