Our office continues to operate during our regular business hours, which are 8:30 am - 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday, but you can call the office 24 hours a day. We continue to follow all recommendations and requirements of the State of Emergency Stay at Home Order. Consultations are available via telephone or by video conference. The safety of our clients and employees is of the utmost importance and, therefore, in-person meetings are not available at this time except for emergencies or absolutely essential legal services.

Bankruptcy on the Rise for Older Americans

Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are the pros and cons of bankruptcy?”


The need to file for bankruptcy can arise for anyone. It does not matter your age, occupation, marital status, or any other qualification you might think of. There might be certain categories of people who are more likely to file for bankruptcy, but there is no guaranteed way to predict who will file for bankruptcy. While you cannot completely predict who might be at risk for needing to file bankruptcy, there are trends that can be observed. The New York Times reports that the number of older Americans who are filing bankruptcy is “booming.”


dollar-signs-in-coins-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-Bankruptcy-Lawyer-and-Attorneys-200x300“Older Americans” refers to those over the age of 65. The number of individuals over the age of 65 who are filing for bankruptcy has tripled since 1991. A study conducted by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project suggests that the reason so many older individuals are filing for bankruptcy is because of a shift in financial risk over the past 30 years or so. Over the past 30 years, the “safety net” of programs available to those at retirement ages shrunk. There are longer wait periods for social security benefits, pension plans sponsored by employers have been replaced with individuals retirement savings accounts, and the overall amount of money that people are saving has decreased.


Other factors that have contributed to this increase in bankruptcy filings is the ever rising cost of healthcare and a decrease in income. Older individuals are often subject to more health problems and therefore end up paying more for healthcare costs. If the individual’s insurance does not cover the entire portion of a procedure, it is up to the individual to pay for it, and it often comes at a high cost. Second, incomes as a whole are declining. The cost of living continues to increase, and unless a person’s income increases at the same rate, things become more expensive and less money is saved.


There is nothing wrong with filing for bankruptcy. It can be an incredible tool to give someone a new financial start. However, the study from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project suspects that a bankruptcy for an older individual is “too little too late.” It can take a while to build one’s self back up financially after filing for bankruptcy. More and more Americans are working past the age of 65, and this is not entirely because they want to. Sure, there are some people who love working and do not want to quit. For some, however, there is no option to not work because of a lack of retirement income.


If you are struggling financially and want to learn more about bankruptcy and whether it is the right move for you, contact the dedicated bankruptcy attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys know that filing for bankruptcy can be a hard choice, but we are here for you every step of the way. If you are contemplating bankruptcy in the Charlotte, Lake Norman or Monroe area, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at 704-370-2828 or find additional resources here.







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