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Likelihood of bankruptcy after retirement increases sharply

People are filing bankruptcy in their golden years more than before according to a study by a professor group. The professors used data gathered by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project and determined that the number of bankruptcy filings by people aged 65 to 74 grew by more than 200 percent between 1991 and 2016. In Virginia and across the U.S., the rate of bankruptcy filings by people 75 or older has more than tripled over that same period.

According to the study, one in seven people who files bankruptcy is 65 years of age or older, an increase of five times between 1991 and 2016. The mean of the ages of filers in 2007 was 44.4 years old; it increased to 48.5 over less than 10 years. The study says that's a statistically significant difference.

Though filers over the age of 75 accounted for only 3.3 percent of the filings between 2013 and 2016, their share of total bankruptcy filings has ballooned almost 1,000 percent since 1991. The authors of the study also offered reasons why Americans may need bankruptcy protection as they get older. Almost 70 percent of those who the CBP had data on said they somewhat or very much agree that financial struggles were the reason behind their bankruptcies.

For individuals in Virginia who are struggling to pay down debts, there may be options to reduce, restructure or eliminate debts. An attorney with experience in bankruptcy law might be able to help people who have too much debt by examining the facts of their situations and offering advice regarding potential debt reduction or elimination options. In some cases, an attorney may be able to negotiate lowered payments or reduced principal debt. In some cases, Chapter 7 bankruptcy might allow a person to discharge their debts while keeping their most important assets.

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