A recent report said that people over the age of 55 are filing for bankruptcy protection 12 percent more than 13 years ago. In addition, this age group accounts for 22 percent of all bankruptcy filings. Many of these are people who have saved wisely in hopes of living comfortably in retirement. So why are older Americans falling into financial trouble?
Why Senior Citizens are Filing for Bankruptcy
Imagine having a good credit score for most of your life only to end up owing more than you have. There are several reasons why this could happen.
- Older people thought that social security would be more of a nest egg when in reality, it is barely enough
- Health care costs and prescription drugs are more expensive than ever
- Some retirees are still financially helping their adult children, thereby draining their own resources
- Many run-up their credit card balances to pay for essentials and fall behind on making the payments
- Many have depleted their retirement accounts faster than planned
Making matters worse, elderly people are proud and often too embarrassed to admit they need help. Their own children are sometimes unaware of how bad things have become. With nowhere else to turn, the older generation is seeking protection in the nation’s bankruptcy courts. Sometimes they wait until their house is in foreclosure before seeking help from a Maryland bankruptcy attorney.
Credit card companies are all too eager to send older Americans unsolicited card offers. With an elderly person’s fixed income, the high interest rates make the balances add-up quickly. Only able to make the minimum payments puts retired consumers further behind and unable to pay-down the balance.
Some have leveraged their homes by taking out a second mortgage to try to survive. When they end up owing more than their home is worth, foreclosure becomes a harsh reality.
Bankruptcy is a difficult decision at any age. Unfortunately, older filers do not have the advantage of the years it takes to re-build their financial lives after filing. They end up living out their years with damaged credit after looking forward to enjoying retired life.
Contact an experienced Maryland bankruptcy lawyer if you are an older person in financial trouble. Everyone should live out his or her retired years with dignity and financial freedom. A knowledgeable and skilled bankruptcy attorney can explain all the options available to anyone who feels like their bills are out of control.