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More seniors may be eligible to file bankruptcy than in the past

As New Jersey residents age, they are taking more and more debt into retirement than in the past. Some of those people are not able to pay the debts that have followed them into their later lives. As a result, it is possible that more seniors are eligible to file for bankruptcy.

Those reaching retirement age are not only dealing with credit card, mortgage or even student loan debt. As healthcare needs increase, so do the amount of medical bills that need to be paid. Many older New Jersey residents are not able to pay those bills now that they are on a fixed income. In addition, as family members begin to pass away, they may have unpaid bills that debt collectors insist should be paid by surviving family members. In most cases, however, the debts of deceased loved ones are not the responsibility of surviving family members.

When a debt is not paid, collection agents are more than likely to begin calling the party believed responsible for the debt to demand payment. Many of them are relentless and not above saying nearly anything in an attempt to get money out of the person on the other end of the phone line. What debt collectors and creditors fail to acknowledge is that if an individual could avoid the constant barrage of harassment simply by paying a bill, he or she most likely would do so.

When debt becomes overwhelming, filing for bankruptcy could alleviate the anxiety and stress that accompany it. During the bankruptcy, all collection activities come to a halt, which gives the filer the time and space to make some financial decisions. Having the opportunity to start again financially could not only be good for the bank account but for a person's health as well.

Source:, "Seniors struggling with debt, debt collectors", Truman Lewis, Nov. 6, 2014

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