Medical Debt and Elderly Bankruptcy

Consumer bankruptcy can be a solution for adults of any age in Oklahoma who are struggling to pay credit card bills and other debts. At the same time, a recent article in Forbes suggests that there are more, older Americans are filing for personal bankruptcy at rising rates, suggesting that there is a need to reconsider reasons for bankruptcy and what they those reasons might tell us about bankruptcy risk factors. In short, there is an upward trend of Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings among the elderly, and that upsurge is likely due to medical debt.

High Costs of Medical Bills for Older Adults

For people who are 65 years of age and older, medical debt is the most common reason for personal bankruptcy. Indeed, consumer bankruptcy filers who are 65 and up account for about 8 percent of all bankruptcy filings, which is an increase from the reported rate of senior bankruptcy filers back in 2008. In other words, more seniors are filing for consumer bankruptcy now than were filing at the beginning of the economic crisis.

Why are so many seniors filing for bankruptcy? As we age, we often need more expensive and more frequent medical care. In addition, unexpected medical issues tend to be more serious for older adults, resulting in higher medical bills and follow-up doctor’s visits. Before you know it, you can end up with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills as a result of an unexpected hospital stay.

Seniors Seeking Emotional Relief from Debt

According to the article, the relief that seniors seek most is emotional relief—relief from constant calls from debt collectors and relief from the anxiety associated with insurmountable debt. For many older adults, “the biggest benefit of bankruptcy is mental health.”

Seniors who have filed for personal bankruptcy, too, emphasize the importance of improved mental health after filing.

Discuss Your Case with an Oklahoma Bankruptcy Lawyer

For many elderly people who are struggling with medical debt, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a way to lessen serious anxiety and to prevent debt collectors from calling. Many retirement accounts, as well as other types of benefits, are exempt when you file for bankruptcy, which can allow seniors to live as comfortably as possible without worrying constantly about health care debts.

To learn more, you should discuss your case with an Oklahoma bankruptcy lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the law office of Deborah Brooks & Associates. P.C. today.