09 Jul Bankruptcy and the Elderly! Part 1
If you are a consumer bankruptcy attorney you see it!
The topic is not new to this blog. Fellow Bankruptcy Law Network contributors Cathy Moran and Carmen Dellutri have written about it!
I see it in my practice more and more each passing month!
Now, researchers, John Gomant and Tom Ulrich with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts have, through their research, confirmed it!
The “it” I am referring to is the rise in bankruptcy filings by the elderly.
In an article published in the May 26, 2007 American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, entitled “Aging and Bankruptcy: The Baby Boomers Meet Up at Bankruptcy Court”, Gormat and Ulrich summarize the findings of their study.
Their research reveals that bankruptcy filings by older Americans, defined in their study at those 55 years of age and above, are rising at a faster rate than that of the general population.
While the underlying causes of this trend can be debated, the following are some of the factors have been identified by Theresa Sullivan, Deborah Thorne and Elizabeth Warren of the Institute for Financial Literary:
- The economy of the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Wages remained flat or dropped during this time, while the cost of living, and of real estate continued to increase.
- During this same period, the credit industry began aggressive marketing strategies to encourage the use of credit.
- During the 1990’s personal savings declined.
Why these factors have increased the number of elderly filings will be discussed in Part 2 of this article.
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