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Senior citizens turning to bankruptcy in growing numbers

Unfortunately, financial troubles can happen. When a person finds themselves in this situation, no matter their age, it is important to consider what options they have to deal with their growing debt and whether they can obtain a fresh financial start.

A recent study is highlighting the growing number of senior citizens who are filing bankruptcy petitions. The Consumer Bankruptcy Project in New York City says that bankruptcies filed by older people are increasing at an "alarming" rate. While the number of bankruptcies in Tennessee has actually fallen in recent years, the state as a whole is regularly ranked in the top five states for the total number of people filing bankruptcy petitions.

The causes of the increase in bankruptcy filings by elderly people are not surprising. The CBP attributes the increase in bankruptcies filed by senior citizens to a drop in wages, loss of jobs, burdensome health care costs and reductions in benefits from safety net programs. Many people saw their wages and savings reduced by the effects of the Great Recession, and they never recovered the lost income.

The CBP study reported that many senior citizens are unwilling to file bankruptcy because they feel an obligation to pay their debts. Among the more extreme cost saving measures are foregoing prescription drugs, food and other necessities to save cash to pay their debts. Some seniors are making their situations worse by using credit cards or payday lenders to fend off their creditors. Such measures usually deepen the hole instead of filling it in.

Anyone who is experiencing financial hardship in the form of debts that exceed their ability to pay may wish to consult an experienced bankruptcy lawyer for advice. A knowledgeable attorney can explain the mechanics of bankruptcy, how the procedure can keep creditors at bay and how bankruptcy can provide relief from such obligations.

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