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Older adults struggle with medical bills

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2019 | Bankruptcy

Older adults in Connecticut could be at risk of bankruptcy because of medical debt. When people who are older file for bankruptcy as a result of medical bills, they have usually run out of savings. Many are either not working at all or working reduced hours, so their income is limited. In 1991, just 2% of bankruptcy filers were 65 and over compared to 12% now.

In addition, the number of people 55 to 64 who filed for bankruptcy in 2016 was up 66% compared to 1991. For people 65 to 74, there was an increase of 204%. Some of these people are in the situation of one 66-year-old retired handyman who said that because of multiple injuries, his could no longer keep up with his medical expenses and had to file for bankruptcy. He hoped to be able to work out a loan modification with his bank that would allow him to remain in his home of 40 years.

People who must file for bankruptcy can start to rebuild their savings and credit in some situations. According to experts, those who have an income should save 10% to 20%. A deposit on a secured credit card can help a person rebuild credit and eventually apply for regular credit again.

One advantage of filing for bankruptcy is that it immediately stops all creditor actions, including phone calls, foreclosure and court cases. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, people can discharge most debts. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow them to keep some assets, such as a home, by creating a payment plan approved by creditors that is for a period of three or five years. People who are struggling with their financial obligations can contact the law office of Russell Gary Small for more information on debt relief options.