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Senior Citizens Filing Bankruptcy

CreditCard.bmpMany seniors no longer have sufficient assets to maintain their lifestyles. There is a tendency in these situations to go into debt. Seniors use credit cards to finance routine purchases with the hope that they will be able to pay their credit cards back at some point in the future.

In some instances, they are unable to accomplish this goal. Most seniors will not ask family, friends or charities for help. This is true even in cases where seniors have previously helped other family members. Most senior citizens are too proud to ask for help!

The credit card debt that seniors are maintaining has been growing. Seniors also require more medical treatment than younger Americans. In situations where the medical treatment is not covered by insurance, seniors find themselves in debt.

The average age of individuals filing bankruptcy has been rising for the past few years. The group with the largest increase in bankruptcy filings are Americans older than 55 years of age.

The primary reason for seniors filing bankruptcy has to do with their inability to pay credit card debt. The medium credit card debt for seniors filing bankruptcy is over $27,000. Medical expenses are the second largest cause for seniors to file bankruptcy.

In addition to problems involving credit card debt and medical expenses, more and more seniors in their late-fifties and sixties are still carrying mortgages on their principle place of residence. Today, 63% of all Americans in their late-fifties and sixties are still making mortgage payments. This is up significantly from the 49% of individuals in this category that were carrying mortgages in 1989. These figures were obtained from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

About Our Law Firm

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo represents individuals filing for Chapters 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. We are also involved in the preparation of wills and trusts. We probate wills and we represent individuals in contested will cases and estate proceedings.

Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and has been assisting New York seniors in dealing with all types of legal problems for over 20 years. Our phones are answered 24 hours-per-day, 7 days-per-week. Our phone numbers are 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. You may also contact us by email.

How To Deal With Student Debt?

student-loansBlogPic-150x150Students have been borrowing more and more money in recent years to pay for college expenses. Due to the downturn in the economy, many students have been unsuccessful in finding employment upon graduation. Even those who find employment often have difficulty paying off their student loans. Filing for bankruptcy can help with problems involving credit card, home or other types of debt; however, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. This is true even if the student loans are from a private lender, such as a bank or Sally Mae.

Congress is considering new laws to ease the burden on students who took out loans for educational expenses and are unable to pay them back. There are two types of student loans: loans underwritten by the federal government (such as Stafford and Perkins loans) and loans underwritten by banks.

Current Bankruptcy Law:

Under the current bankruptcy law, debtors can discharge students loans if they experience “undue hardship”. This condition is almost impossible to prove in bankruptcy court unless the debtor has become totally disabled.

There is concern that if the bankruptcy laws are changed to allow students to discharge loans underwritten by banks for educational purposes, then the banks will stop lending money to students.

In the event that bankruptcy laws are modified to allow the discharge of student loans, the cost of such loans in the future will most likely increase. Congress should liberalize the laws concerning the discharging of student loans but the statue should be carefully written. Student loans should become dischargable only under limited circumstances.

Should you find yourself in financial difficulty, bankruptcy may be a solution to your problem. Call the bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431 or by email to discuss your situation.

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