Have you ever stood in line at the grocery store behind an elderly man or woman and watched as they tried to decide which items they would have to put back as they couldn’t afford it all? Or perhaps you watched as another old man or woman told the clerk at the prescription counter that they wouldn’t be able to pick up their medication. It was too expensive. Visit Vandillenfloodlaw.com for more details.
As a group, the elderly have also been struggling financially during the economic downturn in recent years. Most live on fixed incomes, whether Social Security, a pension or both. Small cost of living increases cover only a fraction of the increased costs, especially for food and medical expenses.
At one time, few senior citizens filed for bankruptcy protection, but now about 20% of filings are for those over 55. Many elderly people hesitate to do so because of embarrassment, but it might be the solution. However, before making a decision, local area residents would be wise to sit down and talk with a Bankruptcy Attorney in St. Louis MO.
If medical bills are the biggest debt, timing can be important. Although Chapter 7 bankruptcy will wipe out medical bills, the bankruptcy will only eliminate bills that exist at the time the bankruptcy is filed. If there is an upcoming surgery, for example, it would be better to wait and include that bill.
The biggest concern of many seniors is protecting their home. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy could put the equity in the home in jeopardy as the trustee is authorized to use the equity to pay off creditors. However, state and federal laws offer homestead exemptions. Some states have higher exemptions just for seniors. Discuss how the home can be protected when consulting with the Bankruptcy Attorney in St. Louis MO.
The other asset that many seniors have is their retirement accounts. Fortunately, federal bankruptcy laws protect these accounts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Most retirement accounts are entirely exempt while IRAs and Roth IRAs are protected up to $1,245,475. However, this exemption only applies to valid retirement accounts.
There are many other issues specific to senior citizens that should be discussed with a Bankruptcy Attorney in St. Louis MO before deciding if bankruptcy is the right choice. The attorneys at Van Dillen and Flood have over 70 years of combined experience with these legal issues. Call them for a free consultation.
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