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Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
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Should Senior Citizens File Bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2018 | Seniors and Bankruptcy

Americans are living longer than ever. Unfortunately, the costs of health care and elder care are also increasing to an unaffordable level. Even if you have spent your life making sound financial decisions and saving money, the combination of longer life and unaffordable health care can lead to insurmountable debt problems for seniors. If you find yourself or a loved one in this predicament, then you should consider bankruptcy as an option.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Relief Occurs Quickly

While bankruptcy is an option of last resort, there are benefits to seniors who qualify for such relief. The first is that Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a relatively quick process. Chapter 7 involves relinquishing the debtor’s non-exempt property to satisfy creditors. At the end of this three to six-month process, a debtor can have many of their debts discharged. This discharge prevents creditors from harassing or continuing their collection efforts that have been an enormous source of stress.

Obtain Needed Relief from Growing Medical Debt

Bankruptcy wipes out medical debt. This is a huge deal, as medical expenses are frequently the source of financial turmoil for seniors overcome by debt. If you can imagine the weight off medical debt coming off your shoulders, then you understand why many seniors see bankruptcy as a viable debt relief option.

You Have Financial Protections

Bankruptcy is designed to protect people from becoming destitute or dependent on government aid. Therefore, retirement accounts are protected from bankruptcy proceedings, as is social security income. This means that your primary sources of income will remain safe while you obtain relief from your medical debt. In addition, if you use federal exemptions, then you may be able to maintain equity in your home and protect your spouse’s survivorship interest in your home.

The Impact on Your Credit Score

It is true that bankruptcy hits your credit score and takes up to ten years to come off your credit report. However, if you are a senior who has already paid off your mortgage, then this typically negative effect of bankruptcy may not be as impactful. In addition, bankruptcy relief affords you an opportunity to rebuild your credit; in contrast to continued debt struggles that will just continue your credit score in a downward trajectory.

Let Us Help You Move Forward

If you are a senior citizen and are interested in discussing bankruptcy relief, contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. We are a bankruptcy law firm with decades of experience in helping clients obtain debt relief. Our attorneys will take you seriously, consider the entirety of your circumstances, and advise you on your best course to move forward. Let us help you. Call our office today at (973) 323-2953 to schedule a consultation, or reach us online.

We are proudly designated as a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress. We have proudly assisted consumers in filing for Bankruptcy Relief for over 30 years.