Are More Elderly People Filing for Bankruptcy?
According to data from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, bankruptcy filings by people 65 and older are increasing. Authors of the paper, “Graying of U.S. Bankruptcy: Fallout from Life in a Risk Society,” write:
“The social safety net for older Americans has been shrinking for the past couple decades. The risks associated with aging, reduced income and increased health care costs, have been offloaded onto older individuals. At the same time, older Americans are increasingly likely to file consumer bankruptcy, and their representation among those in bankruptcy has never been higher.”
Data for the study was collected by research groups at the University of Idaho, the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, the University of Illinois College of Law, and the University of California Irvine School of Law. Their research shows that the rate at which older Americans file for bankruptcy has more than doubled, while the percentage of elderly people in the bankruptcy system increased fivefold. According to the researchers:
“The magnitude of growth in older Americans in bankruptcy is so large that the broader trend of an aging U.S. population can explain only a small portion of the effect. In our data, older Americans report they are struggling with increased financial risks, namely inadequate income and unmanageable costs of health care, as they try to deal with reductions to their social safety net.”
At Sapinski Law Office, S.C., we have also noticed the increase in elderly consumer bankruptcy case filings. Many clients who come to us for help don’t have any retirement because they were forced to cash-out their IRAS or 401ks when the economy crashed approximately 10 years ago and have been unable to save since.
No matter what reason you have for filing bankruptcy, our team of experienced lawyers is here to guide you through the process to ensure your rights and interests are fully protected. If you are over the age of 65 and thinking of filing for bankruptcy, you should get in touch with our legal team to discuss all of your options.