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Medical bills can leave you drowning in debt

One reason why some people go so deep into debt that they need to file for bankruptcy is medical debt. This type of debt is hard to get away from if you are uninsured, underinsured or have high deductibles for care. There isn't much you can do when you need medical care, but there are some choices you have when you get the bill.

It is sometimes possible to work out a payment arrangement with the medical office that provided you with care. If you're able to do this, there is a good chance that the bill won't show up on your credit report. In most cases, medical bills only hit your credit report if they are handed over to a bill collector for nonpayment.

Once the medical bill is on your credit report, there isn't much you can do to have removed short of paying it off. This isn't always possible, so you may need to consider alternatives to take control of your finances if you are unable to pay your medical debt.

If medical bills are preventing you from being able to cover other bills, you may consider filing for bankruptcy. This option would help you get the medical bills either wiped out or put into a payment plan that is based on your available income. Which of these occurs depends on which type of bankruptcy you file -- either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7, depending on your circumstances.

Before you file for bankruptcy, be sure that you understand how it will impact your life. An experienced Arkansas bankruptcy attorney can provide guidance, answer your questions and discuss options.

Source: NerdWallet, "Medical Bills on Your Credit Report," Lindsay Konsko, accessed Jan. 24, 2017

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