Filing for Bankruptcy in Old Age
If you subscribe to the adage “you’re only as old as you feel,” chances are you’re willing to take on most any challenge regardless of your age. But unfortunately, no matter how young you might feel, there are some things you just cannot do once you’re older. If you are struggling financially you might be wondering if bankruptcy is one of those things.
Filing for bankruptcy as an older adult is an option for some people, but there are specific factors to address before moving forward. As a senior, your income situation might be different than a younger person nearing or in the prime earning years of his or her life. All or part of your income could be from social security or you might have more invested in assets, like your home.
Though it’s always important to work with an experienced bankruptcy professional, it’s essential for seniors who are considering filing.
Filing for Bankruptcy as a Retiree
Though many seniors continue to work, especially in this day and age, let’s assume you are retired and your primary income is from social security. It’s common for non-working or retired seniors to experience financial struggles because of their limited income and their higher risk for medical or health issues that could affect them financially.
Bankruptcy can be a tool for seniors to protect their property and other assets when they are faced with mounting debt and threats from creditors.
Bankruptcy can offer protection at any age, but it can be especially valuable for seniors because they’ve had more time to invest in their assets. It might be possible for bankruptcy to prevent the loss of a family home or other asset, which is one of the most important reasons you should at least consider filing if you are older and experiencing financial strain.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy makes it possible to keep certain types of property, including your primary residence, and it allows you to get caught up on payments that might have fallen behind. There might also be protections provided in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Your home is likely your most valuable asset, especially when you’ve been investing in it for so many years. Essentially, as a senior struggling with money, you have more at risk than most of your younger counterparts. It’s important to speak to an attorney about your specific situation. This way you’ll get the guidance you need when filing and ensure your assets receive the proper protection.
Social Security and Bankruptcy
Many seniors rely on social security as their primary source of income and the idea of a creditor garnishing those payments can be frightening. In most cases, creditors cannot garnish social security income, but it all depends on the creditor. For instance, if you owe money to the IRS your social security could be at risk.
To read more about how social security is handled when you’re experiencing debt problems, check out this information from Bankrate.com.
Retirement savings is also a common concern among seniors. Protection is available, but how it is handled is on a case by case basis. This is why it’s so important to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
If you’d like to know more about filing for bankruptcy as a senior or you want to speak to someone about your mounting debt, we can help. Contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at (813) 254-5696 to schedule a free consultation.