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Brownsville Texas Bankruptcy Legal Blog

Medical debt a problem for 137 million patients

Paying for medical care can be tough, but most people in Texas hope that they will be able to tackle bills as they arise. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Millions of people in America are struggling with medical debt. While most people truly want to pay off these debts and move on with their lives, doing so can be easier said than done.

New research from the American Cancer Society documented that over 137 Americans are having trouble paying off their medical bills. While it is not secret that many people struggle with paying for their medical care, this recent research highlights just how widespread the problem is. Perhaps even more upsetting is that 42% of all cancer patients run through their life savings only two years within receiving treatment.

Do creditors violate the Chapter 7 bankruptcy automatic stay?

Being overwhelmed by debt creates a constant struggle for many Texas residents. Phone calls, threats of lawsuits and more only serve to make the situation worse. For this reason, many of them decide to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, partly in order to take advantage of the automatic stay, which bars creditors from engaging in collection activities during the proceedings.

The problem is that some creditors fail to adhere to the automatic stay. Filers may continue to receive calls and other communications from their lenders. The question is whether these actions are deliberate or unintentional on the part of creditors.

Families want to pay their medical debt, but many aren't able to

Like other families across the country, many here in Texas struggle financially. One of the reasons for some families' struggles is due to medical debt. Even a brief trip to the emergency room can cost thousands of dollars, even with health insurance.

For instance, one family from another state currently struggles with around $15,000 in medical bills. Approximately $2,000 represents a visit to the emergency room for one of the couple's children who had trouble breathing. She was sent home with a diagnosis of congestion, but recently had to return for the same issue, and received a different diagnosis and more medical bills.

Would debt settlement help more than Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

This is not an easily answered question, but Texas residents considering their debt relief options need to understand the substantial risks involved in debt settlement. Far too many people have ended up in the same or worse financial circumstances after trying this option. In fact, many end up filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, and some admit they should have done so in the first place.

Debt settlement companies claim that they negotiate on behalf of consumers to lower the balances on the consumers' accounts. Supposedly, creditors will stop coming to the individual for payment. Moreover, a consumer will not have to face the threat of a lawsuit to collect the debt. Sounds good. Right?

3 Signs that bankruptcy is right for you

Choosing to file for bankruptcy protection is a huge financial decision. When most of us make important life choices, we tend to second-guess ourselves. But, avoiding bankruptcy when you are in need of it can turn into a downward spiral that leads to worse and worse consequences.

If you need more reassurance to take the plunge, any one of these three signs is a sure-fire way to know that bankruptcy is right for you.

Is Paul Teutul not paying attention to his Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Texas consumers can empathize with Paul Teutul when it comes to financial problems. In fact, the 69-year-old star of "American Chopper" filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy back in Feb. 2018. Recently, however, the trustee on this case accused Teutul of failing to adhere to the court's and the trustee's requirements for the case.

One of the requirements of the trustee presiding over Teutul's bankruptcy case is for Teutul to provide either transcripts of his tax returns or the returns themselves. The trustee claims that Teutel failed to provide this information for the 2017 and 2018 tax years. Teutul was also required to submit a budget showing whether he could make the payments required by his Chapter 13 plan.

Watch out for credit card debt relief scams

Job losses, medical emergencies, divorce and more can easily adversely affect the financial lives of Texas residents. Many turn to credit cards in order to keep up with necessities, but soon, those bills become overwhelming as well. By the time credit card debt reaches a critical point, consumers may begin looking for ways to rectify the situation, but they need to exercise caution when doing so.

Unscrupulous people will take advantage of consumers who find themselves in financial distress. When Texas residents begin searching for relief from their debts, they need to watch for the signs that something just is not right. This means doing some research, getting a second opinion and considering several options before choosing a debt relief option.

Rebuilding a financial life after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Financial problems are nothing unusual for consumers here in Texas and elsewhere. Debt can get extremely overwhelming and, for many people filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, could provide relief from the situation. What makes several of them hesitate is thinking that doing so would end their financial futures, but that is not true. In fact, it does not have to be an end, but instead, a beginning.

Rebuilding credit after a bankruptcy is entirely possible. Yes, it will lower an individual's credit score, but ordinarily, by the time someone files, the damage is already done. The bankruptcy usually stops the downward spiral and provides a chance to recover. Even so, a Texas resident dealing with these circumstances needs to approach the situation with a plan in order to take advantage of the fresh start receiving a discharge can give him or her.

3 Fallacies about bankruptcy

Bankruptcy protection can help those who are struggling with debt come out on the other side. Yet, some of the misconceptions around the practice can be off-putting.

Here are three misconceptions you shouldn’t let prevent you from getting help.

How can an attorney help with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

By the time many Texas residents realize they have financial problems, the situation is already overwhelming. If you are one of these people, then you know how stressful, frustrating and even frightening the situation can be. You want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but you are not sure how to proceed. Fortunately, you do not have to go through the process alone.

An attorney can help you determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7, help you gather and inventory your assets, and help you make sure all of your debts are accounted for in your filing. Bankruptcies require a substantial amount of paperwork, which can be confusing. Missing a step can derail the proceedings and require you to start over at best. At worst, you could neglect to include critical information that jeopardizes your discharge and could leave you with responsibility for debts that should have been included.

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890 W Price Rd
Brownsville, TX 78520

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