Bankruptcy Rate Among Seniors Soars
Seniors are struggling to get by on less than they’ve ever had before. This was the finding of a recent study by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project. Between 1991 and 2007, the number of bankruptcies filed by individuals over the age of 65 rose 150 percent. The greatest jump in filings was found in individuals aged 75 to 84, whose filings increased 433 percent during that time.
This shocking surge highlights the growing financial struggles of older Americans. A co-author of the study points out that instead of reaching retirement with a variety of assets and a comfortable nest egg, seniors are reaching retirement age bogged down with debt. As a result, many are forced to consider how bankruptcy can help them protect their retirement income and plan for the future.
More Seniors Forced to Get By With Less
Historically, bankruptcy among seniors was the result of medical debt. While medical bills remain the chief cause of filings, other factors are emerging as well.
Recently the economic crisis has left many within this group struggling with incomes that have been significantly reduced or lost entirely as well as a diminished retirement nest-egg.
The rising cost of living is only adding to monthly pressures on seniors. Increased interest rates on credit cards make it even harder for seniors to save.
When seniors fall behind on payments for credit cards, mortgages or other loans, collection agencies will still aggressively pursue payments. Ultimately, they may initiate lawsuits or foreclosure proceedings. For seniors in Atlanta and the surrounding areas, bankruptcy can offer both protection and peace of mind.
Bankruptcy Offers Many Seniors Protection and Peace of Mind
As soon as a bankruptcy has been filed, the automatic stay goes into effect, putting an immediate stop to any pending collection actions, including garnishments and foreclosures. Filers enjoy the additional peace of mind knowing collection agencies are no longer allowed to contact them demanding payment.
Bankruptcy allows seniors to protect their retirement reserves so they can spend each dollar where it is needed most. If you or a loved one is struggling to make ends meet and you are ready for creditor calls to stop, you should call an experienced Atlanta bankruptcy attorney to learn about your options.