Medical debt is often cited as a reason why people in Virginia and other states file for bankruptcy. While it might not be possible to predict when a health issue will arise, it may be possible to manage medical debt. Ideally, individuals will take time to read and understand their health insurance policies. In some cases, it will be necessary to obtain approval before seeing a specialist or having a procedure done.
Virginians who lost their homes through short sales or foreclosures were previously allowed to exclude up to $2 million in forgiven mortgage debt before 2018. However, the provision that allowed people to exclude forgiven mortgage debt ended in 2017. This means that people who have had mortgage debt forgiven may face thousands of dollars in taxes.
People in Virginia who are struggling to make payments on their debts might consider filing for bankruptcy. There are a number of factors they should consider before they file, including the total amount of debt, types of debt and income levels. For most individual filers, there are two types of bankruptcy that might work to discharge their debts: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Virginia residents may be interested in knowing some of the reasons why bankruptcy filings are at a 10-year low. According to a report from a Supreme Court Justice, both consumer and corporate bankruptcy filing rates are the lowest they have been in a decade. But the reason is not necessarily that people are doing better financially.
Only 13% percent of people who are part of the millennial generation and have credit cards are debt free, according to a report. The report, released by CompareCards.com, also found that credit card debt is a greater drag on the finances of millennials in Virginia and around the country than student loans. Among Generation Xers, only 11% who have credit cards are debt free.
Medical treatment can leave people in Virginia struggling with massive quantities of medical debt. People across the country are facing costly medical bills that they cannot afford to pay, even when they have health insurance in place. In fact, medical debt is the leading issue linked to personal bankruptcy filings across the country. Patients worried about medical bills can take some steps to minimize their exposure to health-related debt.
The purpose of Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy is to provide a fresh start for an individual who has fallen behind on obligations to creditors. Most Virginia residents are aware to some degree that certain categories of debt are not dischargeable in accordance with federal law. These include student loans, child support and alimony and government taxes. However, a question remains whether or not a judgment entered against the debtor can be discharged.
According to Federal Reserve Data, Virginia residents and others have combined to accumulate $1.05 trillion in revolving consumer debt as of the fourth quarter of 2018. Consumers have accrued $870 billion in credit card debt, which beats the previous record high set in 2008. At the end of 2018, there were about 100 million more credit card accounts than in 2010. Between the final quarter of 2017 and 2018, there were an additional 37 million accounts that were 90 days past due.
Statistics show that the U.S. spends more on health care per capita than any other country. However, not all of this is government spending. Many Virginia residents carry a heavy burden of medical bills. This has resulted in an ever increasing inability to pay for out-of-pocket costs associated with expensive medical necessities.
Most people would rather not go through bankruptcy; however, after creditors make life miserable, the day may come when bankruptcy sounds like a good option.