Facing overwhelming debt is frustrating, especially when that means that a person is also dealing with phone calls from creditors, collection letters, the threat of repossession and more. For older people, having a lot of debt is particularly concerning because many do not have the ability to earn more money or pay down their balances. Many elderly individuals in Wisconsin and throughout the United States are choosing to file for bankruptcy.
When an older person is faced with an unmanageable debt burden, his or her options may be more limited. For example, it may not be possible to get a loan refinanced or get a job to pay off debt. In many cases, health problems all but ensure that the bills will keep adding up and they will keep falling behind.
A crisis among the elderly?
Some experts believe there is a growing trend of aging Americans facing tight financial circumstances. In fact, the number of older people filing for bankruptcy protection is more than twice what it was just 25 years ago. This trend seems to indicate that the financial prospects of the elderly continue to worsen, especially for those past retirement age and unlikely to reenter the workforce.
You may think that, after decades spent working and saving, most people should be able to retire. It may surprise you that many people do not have as much saved as you may think, and many people do not get retirement benefits from their employers. Some of the most common reasons why older people are filing for bankruptcy in such high numbers include the following:
- Health care is now more expensive than it has ever been.
- Many retirees live on very little income, some solely surviving on Social Security payments.
- There has been a steep decline in pension plans nationwide.
While this may seem disheartening, filing for bankruptcy may actually allow some senior adults to regain some positive financial footing. This process allows the applicant to deal with certain types of debt.
The benefits of bankruptcy protection
Bankruptcy is rarely a person’s first choice, but often, it is the most practical way to address certain types of debt once and for all. No matter the age of the applicant, bankruptcy protection can offer many benefits, and you may find it beneficial to carefully consider if this is the right option for you or an elderly loved one. A complete assessment of the case can help a person understand how this process works and what it can accomplish.