Thompson Law Group, P.C.

The source of medical debt and bankruptcy statistics

Most Pennsylvania residents are aware that one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy is the medical debt that follows a significant illness or injury. However, few understand just how the statistics supporting this claim are gathered. A recent article takes a closer look at how we determine which factors are behind the decision to pursue personal bankruptcy, and the measures in place to ensure that those numbers are accurate.

One of the primary resources that researchers use when examining bankruptcy trends are the bankruptcy schedules that make up individual filings. These are the standardized forms on which debtors list the full range of their income, assets and liabilities. Here, debts are listed by both the amount owed and the party who is entitled to receive payment. By reviewing these documents, researchers are able to determine which portion of an individual's outstanding debt is owed toward medical costs.

In addition, surveys help researchers place a human aspect to the raw data collected from bankruptcy schedules. Surveys often ask respondents to give their reasons for seeking bankruptcy protection, and to rank those factors in order of importance. In this way, researchers are able to determine the level at which medical debt prompted a person to file for bankruptcy, as opposed to other influences -- such as the loss of a job or high levels of credit card debt.

When researchers combine the information gleaned from bankruptcy schedules and surveys, it becomes clear that, for many in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, medical debt is a predominant factor in the decision to file for bankruptcy. This may be due to the fact that financial difficulty that is prompted by a medical condition is usually not the fault of the individual who is injured or ill. As such, making the decision to seek bankruptcy protection may be easier for these consumers, as there are fewer feelings of guilt or responsibility for the financial challenges that arise from medical debt.

Source: thecherrycreeknews.com, "Why medical debt and bankruptcy are growing problems", Daniel A. Austin, Jan. 28, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

email us for a response

Warrendale Office
Main Office
125 Warrendale-Bayne Road
Suite 200
Warrendale, PA 15086

Phone: 724-799-8404
Warrendale Law Office Map

Greensburg Office
101 North Main Street, Suite 104-A
Greenburg, PA 15601

Phone: 724-832-3500
Map & Directions

Canonsburg Office
Satellite Office
2400 Ansys Drive
Canonsburg, PA 15317

Phone: 724-799-8404
Map & Directions

Pittsburgh Office
Downtown Pittsburgh
500 Grant Street, Suite 2900
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-823-8080
Map & Directions

Monroeville/Wilkins Township Office
Satellite Office
Building 1, 201 Penn Center Blvd., Suite 400
Pittsburgh, PA 15235

Phone: 412-823-8080
Map & Directions

Erie Office
1001 State Street
Suite 1400
Erie, PA 16501

Phone: 814-451-1125
Map & Directions

Pittsburgh Office
Greentree
651 Holiday Drive, Foster Plaza, Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PM 15220

Phone: 412-823-8080
Map & Directions

Pittsburgh Office
North Shore
322 N. Shore Dr. Building 1B, Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Phone: 412-823-8080
Map & Directions

Cranberry Township Office
Cranberry
2009 Mackenzie Way, Suite 100
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Phone: 724-799-8404
Map & Directions