Friday, May 11, 2018

Filing for Bankruptcy as a Senior

Should I file for bankruptcy if I am over the age of 60 and overwhelmed by debt?

Many seniors today are facing financial struggles. As the cost of healthcare rises and pensions diminish, seniors often find themselves unable to pay massive medical bills, keep up with the mortgage, and continue to satisfy credit card bills. For some seniors overwhelmed by debt, bankruptcy may provide the relief they need. Our Dayton, Ohio Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys explore the potential benefits of bankruptcy for seniors and some factors to consider before filing.

Potential Benefits of Bankruptcy for Seniors

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a powerful tool to eliminate debt. Medical debt is often one of the number one reasons that seniors file for bankruptcy. As we age, medical problems may force us to accumulate significant medical debt. Filing for bankruptcy can rapidly erase your medical debt, allowing you a fresh start. Additionally, Chapter 7 bankruptcy will erase your credit card debt. It is easy to gather credit card debt over the years, but this debt may be gone through bankruptcy.

Considerations Before You File

When filing for bankruptcy as a senior, you may have more assets to consider than a younger person. Many seniors will own their own home and may have significant equity in the home. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all nonexempt property will be used by the bankruptcy trustee to satisfy your debts. Fortunately, federal and state law exempts certain assets, including a portion of your personal residence. You will want to consult with a bankruptcy attorney early on in order to protect your home in bankruptcy.

Seniors will be happy to learn that most retirement accounts are exempt in a bankruptcy. Further, your Social Security benefits will not be included in the bankruptcy means test. Both of these factors can help seniors qualify for bankruptcy without risk of losing their assets.

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is never an easy one, regardless of your age. Anyone who finds themselves burdened by debt should contact a bankruptcy attorney for an individualized consultation. Your bankruptcy attorney can review your income, assets, and debts to determine whether bankruptcy is the best option for you.

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