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Should Senior Citizens File Bankruptcy?

Updated on February 18, 2013

Senior citizens are frequently said to be enjoying their golden years. This tends to imply that all is well in their world; they have earned the right to happiness, relaxation and peace of mind. That is the ideal situation, but it is often not the case, especially when it comes to money. That is evidenced by the fact that senior citizens are now the fastest growing segment of people filing petitions for Minnesota bankruptcy.

Why are Seniors Struggling Financially?

According to the AARP, the rate of personal bankruptcies filed by people age 65 and older grew by 125 percent from 1991 to 2007. The statistics are even more shocking for people in the age range of 75 to 84. Their bankruptcy rate expanded by a whopping 433.3 percent.

These numbers are not only appalling they are truly frightening. What has caused the horrific upsurge in financial struggles for elderly citizens? There is, of course, no one single reason, but rather complex causes. Inflation has risen dramatically, but pensions and retirement incomes have not. In fact, with the failure of some companies, some pensions have been cut or have disappeared entirely. Because life expectancy has grown, pensions and savings that seemed sufficient for retirement are now not lasting as many years as people need them to.

Faced with skyrocketing costs for medical care, prescription drugs, food and utilities, many seniors turned to credit cards more frequently to get what they must have for survival. Now they find themselves drowning in debt, struggling to meet the minimum payments and unable to afford the necessities of life.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Resources for Bankruptcy For Seniors

What are their options?

If seniors are in good health, many of them opt to go back to work. Unfortunately, now is not a good time to find a job, even if you are young and attractive. With multiple applicants for every position, age discrimination is alive and well. Faced with two equally qualified candidates, one 70, the other 30, most employers feel justified in hiring the 30 year old.

Other seniors to choose to sell off valuables or to go without enough food or medicine they need. Many of these people worked hard all their life and fought to protect their credit rating. They would rather go without than to see their credit rating suffer.

Those more familiar with Minnesota bankruptcy law tend to opt towards filing sooner than others. They are tired of being constantly harassed by creditors, unable to open the mailbox or answer the phone without being afraid another barrage of demands for money will meet them. The stress is not good for their health and they want to live in peace. For them, bankruptcy is the solution. They will have serenity back in their household and they can then use the money they’ve been trying to pay debts with and purchase the necessities of life.

If you or someone you care about is a senior citizen dealing with crippling debt, consult with a competent Minnesota bankruptcy attorney. He/she will be able to help you with questions and concerns and guide you to the right decision for you. Bankruptcy is often the solution that allows seniors to spend their golden years untarnished.


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