• Healthcare Costs, Medical Debt and Bankruptcy

    With the recent federal healthcare mandate, many people think that medical bankruptcy will become a thing of the past. Hopefully this will be true in the future, but that provides little comfort to individuals and families already buried with medical-related debt.

    In 2007, more than 90 percent of people who filed for bankruptcy because of medical costs owed more than $5,000 to healthcare creditors. The other medical bankruptcies were due to loss of income as a result of an injury or a health condition.

    Insurance companies typically cover anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of major medical costs. For someone who is diagnosed with cancer or another serious illness, this may not be enough to prevent a medical bankruptcy.

    A survey from 2007 reported that approximately 70 percent of US citizens either have difficulty paying for medical treatment or have medical debt. In 2009, 50 million Americans still had no health insurance. Another study found that 63 percent of Americans carrying medical debt avoided future medical treatment.

    If you are carrying medical debt and struggling to pay bills, you may want to contact a bankruptcy attorney to evaluate your options.

    Benjamin Brand Services- Chicago bankruptcy attorneys .

  • Will Congress Adjust the AMT to Avoid Fiscal Cliff?

    Following the November election, many media pundits and experts are warning of the impending “fiscal cliff” expected to hit the country in early 2013. The term is used to describe a series of enacted legislation that will lead to tax increases, federal spending cuts and a reduction in the budget deficit at the end of 2012. Most experts have proposed avoiding the fiscal cliff by extending certain parts of the 2010 Tax Relief Act or changing the 2011 Budget Control Act, which would decrease taxes, but increase the deficit.

    Experts predict that if you have a household income over $75,000, you will see a substantial increase in your taxes. Residents in high-cost urban areas are expected to be hit hardest. Some congressional aides have speculated that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has advised Congress to adjust the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) after the filing season starts in January, which would lead to delays in return processing for nearly half of all Americans.

    “That would be a disaster, an unmitigated disaster for the taxpayers of the United States,” said Nina Olson, national taxpayer advocate at the IRS. “It’s just not possible to do that.”

    Many Americans plan their budget and finances based on getting their tax refunds in a timely fashion. This may be last thing many individuals who may already be on the verge on bankruptcy need.

    Benjamin Brand Services- Chicago bankruptcy lawyers .