Medical Expenses, Bankruptcy, and Stress – Part 2

by Johnny Tisdale on December 7, 2012

Now it’s time for the good news. Most – if not all – of the stress associated with filing for bankruptcy can be relieved surprisingly easily. In an article on the stress-relieving benefits of filing for bankruptcy, attorney John O’Connor mentioned Arnold Palmer’s assertion that golf is 90% mental and concluded that “the same is true for debt.” By changing the way you think about bankruptcy, you will experience tremendous relief.

First you must address your fear of the unknown by doing some research. (If you’re reading this article, you’re on the right track!) You’ll find that bankruptcy is nowhere near as bad as you once thought. By no means will you be exiled from the market. The worst consequence is higher interest rates. Government agencies and potential employers are legally prohibited from discriminating against you on the sole basis that you filed for bankruptcy. Stop thinking about bankruptcy as the end and see it as a new beginning. You will be given a fresh financial start, free from the majority of your debt and all of the associated stress.

Looking into the statistics of bankruptcy is also reassuring. You are not alone! Well over a million Americans file for bankruptcy each year. Many of these people are well educated and middle-class, especially when it comes to medical bankruptcy. Steffie Woolhandler, another of Warren’s Harvard colleagues, warns that unless you’re a billionaire, you’re only “one illness away from financial ruin in this country.” And Himmelstein testified before the House that “three quarters of the medically bankrupt were insured.” This is why the researchers, faced with the disturbing results of their studies, realized the urgent need for healthcare reform.

Don’t blame yourself if this happened to you. It doesn’t mean that you’re a “bad person.” Does it seem right that even a middle-class American family with health insurance and a perfect financial record could suddenly be forced to file for bankruptcy due to unexpected medical expenses? Obviously, there is something wrong with the system, not you. Your financial situation was caused by socioeconomic factors that are beyond your individual control.

There are two key points to remember.

  1. Filing for bankruptcy says nothing about your worth as a human being.
  2. Bankruptcy is not the end. It is a new beginning.

In addition to doing your own research, another great way to relieve debt-related stress is to have an experienced bankruptcy attorney as part of your social support system. I stay up to date on bankruptcy law, which is constantly changing, so that I can provide expert legal advice to my clients. But more importantly, I bring compassion to my practice. I enjoy a deep sense of fulfillment and purpose every time I help someone achieve their new beginning. Please call me today at 510-233-7700 so I can help you.

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Johnny Tisdale

Paralegal at Dowe Law Firm
Johnny Tisdale is a paralegal, web designer, and writer at the Dowe Law Firm. He earned his BS in psychology and ABA-approved paralegal certificate from Auburn University Montgomery in 2011.

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