Many families aren't prepared for unexpected bills, and it can take them a year to dig out of the debt they cause. That's one of the findings from a new survey by JPMorgan Chase Institute, which looked at the financial health of American households.

The survey found that almost four in 10 families faced unplanned medical, auto repair or tax bills, which cost about $1,500 on average. In some cases, it took those families a full year to recover financially after the payment. Fiona Greig, the institute's director of consumer research, discussed the study with TheStreet's Rhonda Schaffler in New York.

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