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On Wednesday we discussed some ways in which Florida consumers can put an end to creditor harassment. In our next two posts, we are going to talk about how filing bankruptcy is another solution to end harassing calls from debt collectors, and how it is also a resolution for some seniors who are struggling with their finances after retirement.

The economy has been tough on every household. Individuals are losing their jobs, home values are plummeting, debt is piling up and expenses continue to rise. Many seniors retired just after their investments dropped in value, reducing their monthly retirement income that they were looking forward to relying on. Society is in a financial mess, and many are desperately seeking out ways in which they can make ends meet.

More Florida seniors are starting to turn to bankruptcy in order to alleviate financial burdens. According to the University of Michigan Law School, individuals 65 and older are the fastest-growing group of people across the nation to seek out bankruptcy protection.

What is causing seniors to file bankruptcy? Here are a few reasons:

  • Medical bills
  • Taxes
  • Cost of living
  • Credit card debt
  • Mortgage balances
  • Creditor harassment

All of these expenses are rising, but retirees have a monthly income that’s decreasing. Seniors begin to realize that they cannot keep up with their bills, and if they are too proud to seek help from family members, many end up relying on credit cards to cover their expenses. However, this cycle of borrowing in order to make payments only digs individuals deeper into debt.

Bankruptcy allows seniors to have a fresh start with their finances, relieving them from a majority of their debt. Monthly payments are manageable once again, creditor harassment has stopped and the retiree has a sense of financial security. Individuals have options when it comes to bankruptcy. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 provide different benefits based on the person’s needs. In our next post, we will discuss the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 and how it can benefit the special circumstances that seniors are in.

Sources

USA Today: “Filing bankruptcy in retirement may not be such a bad idea,” Cindy Perman, 13 Dec. 2010

Chicago Sun Times: “Many seniors drowning in bills, fear things will get worse,” 12 Dec. 2010