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Seniors Filing for Bankruptcy More Than Ever—Understanding Why

As hundreds of thousands of individuals in the US file for bankruptcy each year, medical bills are at the top of the list as the reason why so many make the difficult decision to file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. While you may assume that financial mismanagement would be one of the most common explanations for severe financial duress, it is true that major money problems are usually caused by bills piling up due to a sickness or an accident such as a car or motorcycle crash. These types of personal crises may be long-lasting or even permanent in terms of repercussions and can also add insult to injury due to the temporary inability to go to work, or perhaps even permanent loss of a job.

Other unexpected—and sometimes devastating—personal events may cause bank account balances to dwindle significantly or even be in the negative. You may have lost your job or had your hours cut with very little notice, or you may be going through a family crisis that is taking a toll on everyone’s income, such as separation or divorce, or caring for an aging parent. Student loans also are one of the major catalysts for bankruptcy which sadly affect many who are still quite young and have not really had a chance to carve out a path in life yet.

Seniors, however, are having more financial difficulties than ever. And while you may picture most bankruptcies occurring for middle-aged folks or business owners in trouble, recent news shows that today up to 12 percent of those filing are elderly. Those filing tend to be in the lower income brackets, but there are other reasons for this upward trend in filings—people are living longer, and retirement funds simply may not last long enough in areas where the cost of living is challenging. Medical bills, health insurance, and Medicare issues are often behind financial duress also, accompanied by astronomical costs for medical procedures, doctor’s visits, co-pays, and prescriptions.

More seniors than ever are taking out reverse mortgages and may end up finding themselves regretting that decision later, while the initial goal was to get out from under enormous medical bills. If you are a senior considering filing for bankruptcy, or if you have an aging parent who may need to exercise this option, consult with a skilled bankruptcy attorney from the offices of H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. as soon as possible.  

You probably have many questions about bankruptcy, including which type of bankruptcy will work best for you, how much you will have to sacrifice (very little in many cases), and whether you will have to go to court. Speak with a skilled bankruptcy attorney from the offices of H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. Call now to learn more at 912-764-9616, or contact us online.