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Medical bills cripple New Jersey family

New Jersey families are doing everything they can to make through the sluggish economy. Even so, the most prepared families today can be blindsided if a medical emergency occurs. One family in Stanhope, New Jersey, is seeking a number of debt relief options after medical bills have piled up.

Before a medical emergency three years ago, the family was managing their finances well. Both parents had made middle class wages, and they were living in a good home and their daughter was attending a good school. Now, the mother is struggling to survive after a headache three years ago led to a burst aneurism and a stroke. The lifetime cap of $1 million dollars on her health insurance was reached faster than anyone in the family could have imagined.

The family home is now facing foreclosure and they have been forced to file for bankruptcy. Their only daughter has been forced to drop out of college and the father’s retirement fund has been exhausted. In addition, they are still have outstanding medical bills of more than $650,000. Also, the 55-year-old mother is likely to spend the remainder of her life in a nursing home because Medicaid is the only option the family can afford.

This was a typical middle class family who until this tragedy did everything right. Stories like this resonate with New Jersey residents. As grim as they are, they shed some hope on dire situations that can seem bleak. The sooner relief options are sought when a crisis arises, the easier it is to get out from under a mountain of debt. In cases like this, a bankruptcy attorney can be of great assistance to those who are financially overwhelmed, and can help lay out the options for a family to receive a fresh financial start.

Source: Star-Ledger, “Plight of Stanhope family illustrates middle-class medical vulnerabilities,” Bob Braun, Nov. 21, 2011

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