Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Older Americans Filing Bankruptcy In Higher Numbers

The fastest growth in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing is among those 55 and older. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for the liquidation of assets to pay creditors as opposed to Chapter 13 filing which allows debtors to pay off debts over time.
Researchers John Golmant and Tom Urlich conclude that rising healthcare costs and mortgage debt are key factors.

Golmant and Urlich expect increased bankruptcy filing rates for older Americans to continue, based on the reduced income retirees face coupled with rising healthcare costs, according to the report.

Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy, agrees with the report's conclusions but notes the study ends at 2002 and the figures since then "have gotten worse."
This study points out the economic problems facing those later in life when there are less options available to solve the problem. The new bankruptcy laws, which were written by the credit card companies, make it much harder to just dispose of your debts and start over. It is time for both national health care and revisions to the bankruptcy laws. Do we want a nation of bankrupt seniors? Is this what we want for our parents in their golden years? Is this the reward for a lifetime of hard work? With the housing bubble about to burst and a possible recession in our future, these numbers will only grow.

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