Why are the Elderly Filing Bankruptcy in Arizona?

elderly filing bankruptcyPart of being American is following the dream of working hard and then being able to comfortably retire. When older Americans reach a certain age, they should be able to relax with their families, perhaps surrounded by their grandchildren.

Unfortunately, a new study from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project tells us that the rate of seniors 65 and older who have filed for bankruptcy has tripled since 1991.

What in the world is going on?

Rising Costs And Economics

The lead author of the study, Deborah Throne from the University of Idaho, says that there are two main reasons we see this uptick in elder citizens filing for bankruptcy:

  • Growing medical expenses as the costs of healthcare rise
  • Lost income due to the recent economic recession

Thorne says that older Americans that go through the bankruptcy process tend to have a harder time recovering than those who go through it at a younger age.

She goes on to explain that older Americans that go through bankruptcy have a harder time recovering than someone who goes through it at 45 years old.

Older Americans are suffering under large debt burdens, but they are not the only ones. Last year alone saw these staggering numbers:

  • 790,830 total bankruptcies filed
  • 767,721 were non-business
  • 23,109 were businesses

Putting Off Bankruptcy

Many people see bankruptcy as a failure, regardless of how old they are. Older Americans look at it as if they have done something wrong, while younger generations are embarrassed. Often, not being able to pay your debt is not your fault. Many people’s businesses suffer when the economy fluctuates for reasons out of their control. Older Americans have little control over their pensions after they retire. They are at the mercy of major companies and fund traders.

You do not need to feel like a failure or embarrassed for wanting to get your life back on track for yourself and your family.

Putting off bankruptcy can be detrimental for people and not just financially. We have heard stories of people foregoing necessities, even meals, just trying to stay afloat. This will eventually wear on your physical and mental health. There is a term for the period of time before a person files for bankruptcy. It is called the “sweatbox” because of how much stress people are under during that period.

The “sweatbox” is not somewhere you want to be because it can affect all areas of your life. Chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy will help you restructure your debt and will immediately stop the influx of collectors looking to take everything you have. Filing will put a hold on your assets while you reorganize your debt with the help of an attorney. Most of the time, you get to keep the things you need the most: your home, vehicle, retirement savings, and more.

Chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy were created to help people get their debt under control with the help of the court system. It gives people a chance to breathe.

Your Steps Moving Forward

The next step for you is to regain control of your life, something you can accomplish with the help of an experienced attorney.  Click here to find out the pros and cons of reaffirmation agreements.