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Personal bankruptcy filings by older individuals are increasing

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2020 | Bankruptcy

Many older individuals seeking ways to reduce their unmanageable debt give serious consideration to how filing a petition for personal bankruptcy protection could help. With numerous companies either downsizing their workforce or not hiring older candidates, baby-boomers can find themselves unexpectedly losing the reliable stream of income that once covered all of their living expenses.

Between the years 2018 and 2019, 12% of the bankruptcy petitions filed were for individuals over the age of 65. Loss of income is not the only cause. As reported by Forbes magazine, financial distress among baby boomers also comes from weakened unions, stagnant wages and underfunded pension plans. Combined with an increase in health care expenses, older individuals may easily find themselves severely overburdened by their debt load.

Although boomers tend to continue working long past their prime employment years and often working longer hours, many have found that it does not help them stay on top of the bills. The cost of living increases each year while most salaries do not. Older individuals are discovering they may be unable to launch their plans for the comfortable retirements they worked hard for.

The baby-boomer generation is accepting the fact that there is nothing shameful about struggling to pay housing, car payments and credit card debts. Accordingly, a growing number of boomers approaching retirement seek relief through bankruptcy. For many, the loss of a regular income and the need to live on a fixed budget are deciding factors to look into filing options.

The first sign that an individual may need relief is when creditors begin their harassment efforts to collect past due debts. Planning a post-filing budget in advance may help to determine how well a bankruptcy petition can help accomplish plans for the future.