Increase Bankruptcy Among Elderly is Becoming a Social Issue

According to new research, more seniors are facing financial crises than ever. Bankruptcy cases filed by Americans 65 years and older are increasing in number and that number is likely to keep growing. Some experts believe that it brings about a grave social issue worth looking into. This could be a result of rising medical costs, low savings, and dwindling pension benefits.

The government needs to look at the ways to make medical care facilities affordable and provide better pension plans for an aging population that is living longer than ever before. It is reported that population in Michigan is aging quickly when compared to the national average. Paul Bridgewater, CEO of a Detroit Area nonprofit agency, has been compiling the data to come up with a solution to curb this prevailing social issue.

In a national study conducted by four researchers from Indiana and Illinois universities on bankruptcy filers since 1991, people aged 65 and above filing for bankruptcy increased from 17% (in 1991) to 19.3 % (in 2015). Employers shifting from pension benefits to 401(k) plans, over a period of time, has created a financial burden on the aged population.

It is believed that bankruptcy protection is more helpful for younger people because they have more time to recover from the financial losses as opposed to the retirees. At the moment, the financial misfortune of an aging population is not affecting the economy significantly, but it is a grave social problem.

While there are factors such as increasing costs for medical care creating financial challenges for the elderly, this population is also trying to help their children or grandchildren afford education expenses. It should be a wakeup call for the younger generation to start planning for their retirement soon so they do not fall into this trap when they plan to retire.

Should I File for Bankruptcy?

Under Federal law, any citizen in the US has the right to file for bankruptcy if he or she is overwhelmed with debt. Legally filing for bankruptcy will automatically stop creditors who are seeking to collect debt from calling you and (in some cases) stop the bank from foreclosing on your home. In some cases, however, bankruptcy status cannot cure all financial problems, nor is it the right step for everyone with debt. Before making the decision to file for bankruptcy, ask yourself the following 5 questions. If you answer “yes” to at least three question. You should speak with a bankruptcy lawyer to talk about your options.

  • Have you been out of work for an extended period and have no unemployment income, savings, or job prospects?
  • Are you delinquent on your taxes?
  • Do you have a home that is nearing foreclosure?
  • Are your wages being garnished?
  • Are you involved in pending lawsuits for delinquent bills?

If you are experiencing overwhelming debt and would like to file bankruptcy, call Newland & Newland, LLP at today at (847) 797-8000, or a fill out our online contact form for a complimentary evaluation of your situation. We help clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Fabrizio Verrecchia)

  • Newland & Newland LLP, Attorneys, Arlington Heights, IL
  • Lawyer.com