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Cancer increases chances of filing for personal bankruptcy

Any type of unexpected medical emergency can land a person in serious financial problems. These financial difficulties generally stem from hospital bills and paying for costly medications in Texas or in any other state. Cancer is no exception to this issue. A recent study has revealed that being diagnosed with cancer makes it more likely for a person to experience financial difficulties or personal bankruptcy.

The study revealed that those facing a cancer diagnosis are 2.65 times more likely to file for bankruptcy compared to those who do not have cancer. Age also played a significant role in cancer patients being forced into bankruptcy. Researchers showed that patients with cancer who are under the age of 65 are two to five times more likely to file for bankruptcy compared to elderly cancer patients.

The study examined data from federal bankruptcy records and information from a cancer registry and then compared it with a control group. Each group contained 197,840 people. Researchers examined a time period spanning from 1995 to 2009. They found that during this time period, 2.2 percent of cancer patients petitioned for bankruptcy compared to 1.1 percent in the control group.

Almost all of the patients filed for a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy, which is designed to discharge unsecured debts in Texas and throughout the country. Unsecured debts include any debts which do not have an asset attached to the obligation. For example, medical bills are considered unsecured debts, while mortgage debt is not. However, each individual case is different, therefore knowledge of the bankruptcy code and how to apply it can be advantageous.

Source: dailyuw.com, "Study finds younger cancer patients have a higher rate of bankruptcy," Chris Lopaze, June 4, 2013

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