These days, life can get expensive. For those in their later years, it is possible that savings did not go as far as they planned or health care costs for medical issues have hit hard, leaving them in a poor financial situation or facing overwhelming debt. Perhaps this has happened to someone you care about, such as a parent or grandparent, and you are wondering what their options are to find some financial stability.
Depending on individual circumstances, seniors may benefit from filing for bankruptcy. A personal bankruptcy can help to eliminate debts and stop pestering calls from creditors. Some debts that can be eliminated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:
- Medical Debts: Alleviating medical debts is one of the primary reasons an older individual may consider filing for bankruptcy. Far too often, medical care is required as one ages and these days that care can be extremely expensive. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, medical bills you have accrued before the date of filing can be discharged.
- Credit Card Debt: In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, unsecured credit card debt can be discharged as well. This can be a benefit to seniors who have turned to credit cards when savings have run out or social security checks are not enough to cover living expenses and debts. But be careful when it comes to using your credit card before filing for bankruptcy!
It is also important to know that social security is not counted as income in the means test required to see if you qualify for bankruptcy. Additionally, most retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) or IRA, are protected in bankruptcy.
Potential Problems—Make Sure to Get Guidance from an Experienced Atlanta Bankruptcy Lawyer
Still, if you are a senior and are considering filing for bankruptcy, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. This is because while bankruptcy can bring relief from the above-mentioned debts, it can have an impact on your assets (in a chapter 7 bankruptcy).
This is particularly true if a senior individual has significant equity in their home. It is possible for that equity to be used by the bankruptcy trustee to pay back creditors. In Georgia, a portion of your home equity is safe due to the homestead exemption, but not all of it. This is why it is important to speak to a knowledgeable attorney who knows the ins and outs of bankruptcy before you take this step later in life.
Is Bankruptcy Right for You or Your Senior Loved One?
While filing for bankruptcy later in life can its disadvantages, it can have multiple benefits and lead to a calmer future free from excessive worries about debt. If you are a senior or a senior you love and care about is considering filing for Atlanta personal bankruptcy, contact The Ballard Law Group to speak with a skilled bankruptcy attorney about your case. All of our attorneys have both the compassion and experience you want when determining if bankruptcy is the proper course of action for you or your loved one.
Bankruptcy can give individuals the opportunity to reclaim their financial independence, even later in life. To get answers to your questions about how bankruptcy could benefit your financial situation, contact The Ballard Law Group today for a consultation by calling (404) 800-9939.