As a Lakewood bankruptcy and student loan attorney, I’ve seen a dramatic rise in the number of older Americans who call on me for help with their financial situation and discuss using bankruptcy as a tool to help. According to a study from the nonpartisan Bankruptcy Project, the number of older filers has tripled since 1991.
While the study doesn’t determine what the root causes for increased bankrputcy filing rate, I have observed in my practice that older clients typically need bankruptcy help after they suffer an unexpected setback. A new, expensive medical treatment can turn a household budget upside down quickly. Likewise, parents who love their children frequently co-sign on student loans and car loans. When the children can’t pay their monthly debts anymore, their parents feel financial pain as a result.
As the NYTIMES article linked above indicates, the increased bankruptcy filing rates likely stems from the shift of a consumer’s safety net from government/employer programs to individuals. People are now required to work more years before becoming eligible for social security, for example.
No matter the reason, if you are struggling to pay your bills each month, you should take action to figure out the best course forward for you and your family. I’d be pleased to speak with you during a free, initial debt consultation where I can explain your best financial options. A consultation takes about 30 minutes and we can handle it over the phone. To set up an appointment, simply click the blue “calendly” button on the bottom of this screen, send me a contact form, or call our office.