Medical bills can hit you like a ton of bricks. Even people with health insurance can suddenly find themselves owing more than they imagined – because taking on that debt it seemed like the only way to get the care they or a family member desperately needed.
In the San Antonio area and throughout the nation, the pressure to pay can be relentless. It often comes right away from hospital gatekeepers who are reluctant to even grant admission without a guarantee of payment. And it comes later from debt collectors seeking to squeeze those payments out of you.
Sometimes people who are desperate to pay for desperately needed medical care take out payday loans. In theory, this is a type of short-term loan that provides enough money to cover immediate expenses. The borrower usually signs a post-dated check, which the payday lender then cashes on the borrower’s next payday.
Yes, such loans can give you quick cash in hand. But the amount of interest and fees you will likely encounter will quickly make the cost of that loan escalate. For many people, payday loans become a slide down into even deeper debt.
The payday loan industry is notorious for piling on fees for those who are unable to pay. Last year, the amount of fees imposed on Texas families on these loans is estimated was more than $1 billion.
Given how payday debt can boomerang on you, it makes sense to look for another way to move forward. Keep in mind, when facing challenges with medical debt, that bankruptcy can be an effective debt relief strategy. Whether to pursue a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will depend on your particular circumstances. But that is something you can discuss with your bankruptcy attorney.
Source: “Commentary: State should regulate predatory loan practices,” Houston Chronicle, 4-12-13
Please visit our page on consumer bankruptcy.