Although Oregon residents enjoy a high standard of care when it comes to medical treatment, complex conditions can lead to large healthcare bills. Even people covered by medical insurance can find that an unexpected illness or injury may result in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs, possibly leading to mounting debt and collection activities from creditors. In some cases, people find themselves facing such large amounts of medical debt that they consider filing for bankruptcy.

To assist those dealing with medical debt, the St. George News provides some tips. First, it’s important for individuals to understand their rights as they pertain to incurring debt, debt reporting, disputing debt and removing paid debts from credit reports. Next, individuals should have an understanding of how debt impacts the potential for future financial leverage. Although medical debt is typically not directly reported to credit agencies, this debt may be purchased by a collection agency that will then post the debt as outstanding. Outstanding debt can have an impact on everything from future mortgage decisions to personal loan interest rates.

Finally, it is recommended that individuals who are carrying medical debt take the time to negotiate with lenders. In many cases, medical providers will be willing to set up payment plans, reduce interest and fees or settle debt for less than the full amount. Non-profit medical providers may also be able to provide financial assistance and debt relief through charitable programs that are specifically designed for those unable to pay for large procedures and treatment.

Because medical debt as it applies to personal finance and bankruptcy laws can be a complex topic, people dealing with these concerns often turn to the assistance of an attorney for help. A bankruptcy attorney may assist in filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection for those unable to work or for those facing unmanageable debt due to an unexpected medical condition.