A study done at Harvard University indicates that this is the biggest cause of bankruptcy, representing 62% of all personal bankruptcies. One of the interesting caveats of this study shows that 78% of filers had some form of health insurance, thus bucking the myth that medical bills affect only the uninsured.
Rare or serious diseases or injuries can easily result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills—bills that can quickly wipe out savings and retirement accounts, college education funds, and home equity. Once these have been exhausted, bankruptcy may be the only shelter left, regardless of whether the patient or his or her family was able to apply health coverage to a portion of the bill or not.
Whether due to layoff, termination, or resignation, the loss of income from a job can be equally devastating. Some are lucky enough to receive severance packages, but many find pink slips on their desks or lockers with little or no prior notice. Not having an emergency fund to draw from only worsens this situation, and using credit cards to pay bills can be disastrous.
The loss of insurance coverage and the cost of COBRA insurance also drain the job seeker’s already limited resources. Those who are unable to find similar gainful employment for an extended period of time might not be able to recover from the lack of income in time to keep the creditors at bay.
Poor/Excess Use of Credit
Some people simply can’t control their spending. Credit card bills, installment debt, as well as car and other loan payments can eventually spiral out of control, until finally the borrower is unable to make even the minimum payment on each type of debt. If the borrower cannot access funds from friends or family or otherwise obtain a debt-consolidation loan, then bankruptcy is usually the inevitable alternative.
Statistics indicate that most debt-consolidation plans fail for various reasons and usually only delay filing for most participants. Although home-equity loans can be a good remedy for unsecured debt in some cases, once it is exhausted, irresponsible borrowers can face foreclosure on their homes if they are unable to make this payment as well….