Bankruptcy Increases Among Senior Citizens


Older Couple

Bankruptcy is a difficult choice to make at any age, but there is a growing number of the elderly population facing the need for bankruptcy protection. Here are the reasons behind this, and how you can help your aging parents or loved ones.

An Increasing Problem

Bankruptcy among senior citizens made up only 2% of bankruptcy filings in 1991. According to a recent study, that number has jumped to 12%. What is the reason behind this large growth? The pandemic can be blamed for a large number, but the problem goes deeper. Stagnating real wages, companies foregoing pensions for 401K options and longer life expectancy all play a part in this issue. Predatory lenders who prey on seniors add to this problem by luring elders into risky loans. Add to this a raft of growing medical expenses and the reduction in Medicare, and many seniors have no choice but to claim bankruptcy protection.

This problem often begins before individuals reach senior status. Many people in their fifties have been adversely affected by the pandemic, and find it extremely difficult to find steady employment. This can make saving for retirement almost impossible.

How to Help Your Elderly Family Members

You may want to provide assistance to your elderly family member who is facing bankruptcy but aren’t sure how to proceed. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Locate a reputable nonprofit credit counseling agency and attend with your family member. These agencies are knowledgeable in finances and may be able to suggest a way to avoid bankruptcy.
  • Monitor asset liquidation – when facing a financial crisis, many seniors will begin liquidating their assets, sometimes well below market value. Assist your senior in making prudent decisions.
  • Counsel against adding more debt in the form of credit card debt or high-interest loans used to pay off other debt. 
  • Seek legal help – offer to visit an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy-related issues with your senior.

There are times when interventions will not be successful and bankruptcy is the only viable option. If your elderly family member finds themself in this position, the office of George R. Belche is here to provide the assistance and care your senior needs to gain financial security and peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

George R. Belche, Attorney at Law

189 West Pike Street, Suite 103
Lawrenceville, GA 30046