More Older Americans Are Filing Bankruptcy

28 Apr More Older Americans Are Filing Bankruptcy

A recently released federal study found that baby boomers are filing more bankruptcies that ever before. According to John Golmant and Tom Ulrich, researchers at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the greatest increase in Chapter 7 filings between 1994 and 2002 occurred among people older than 55.

Even though the study will be published in the May 2007 issue of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, the data is already 5 years old. I remember, back in 2002, that many of my clients were filing bankruptcy as a result of 9/11/01. It was by far the single most stated reason for personal financial collapse.

In retrospect, the baby boomer generation may have been hit the hardest because that age group is typically the age of the dispensable “middle manager.” As companies struggled in the wake of 9/11, they began cutting jobs, and this age group was an easy target. Younger employees are always willing to do the same job for less money, and older employees tend to have too much power and are too close to retirement anyway.

The really bad news is that the 2002 data is pre-Iraq War, pre-housing bust and pre-subprime lending collapse. Is the economy better today than in 2002? Considering the decline in the dollar overseas has accelerated in 2007 and considering that more middle class Americans are filing foreclosure that ever before, the answer is, “Probably not.”

Also see Andy Miofsky’s related article on BLN.

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Chip Parker is the managing partner of Parker & DuFresne, P.A., where he represents Northeast Florida businesses and consumers facing bankruptcy, and homeowners facing foreclosure. His firm files more homeowners in the Mortgage Modification Mediation Program than any other law firm in Northeast Florida. Parker is the recipient of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid's prestigious Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. Mr. Parker is an active member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.
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