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Behm Law Group, Bankruptcy Attorneys

Bankruptcy News & Recent Cases

Using Bankruptcy for Debt Relief as a Senior Citizen

December 27th, 2019 · No Comments

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you’re not alone. People of all ages and financial circumstances file bankruptcy cases of varying types with results that provide long-term debt relief.

At Behm Law Group, Ltd., we’ve worked with clients in many different situations, from young couples to divorcees and even senior citizens. There are many reasons why filing for bankruptcy as a senior citizen is a positive step forward. If you’re unsure about using bankruptcy for debt relief in Waseca, MN and the greater Mankato area, Behm attorneys can help you determine what type, why, and how you can file.

There are two types of bankruptcy available to the majority of individual consumers: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 works to liquidate (sell) your non-exempt assets (properties) in exchange for debt discharge (debt relief). Chapter 13, on the other hand, works to reorganize your debts into a manageable repayment plan lasting three to five years. This repayment plan is tailored to your income and other financial circumstances, including your obligations to repay debts not included in bankruptcy.

For many senior citizens, Chapter 7 is a more effective, beneficial type of bankruptcy. This is largely due to the income and types of debts senior citizens are likely to have.

Income: Because most seniors are living with income from retirement accounts, pensions, and government support, the average income of U.S. senior citizens is much lower than that of younger, still employed filers. To be eligible for Chapter 7, filers must pass the Means Test. In other words, their income has to be lower than the state median of a similar household. Not only are most seniors eligible for Chapter 7, they also don’t have the income to support a long-term repayment plan through Chapter 13.

Debt: Chapter 7 discharges unsecured debts and debts that are tied to properties in full. Many senior citizens have medical debts due to the minimal coverage of Medicare programs or a lack of work-provided health insurance. Credit card debt is another common debt that senior citizens hold, along with most Americans of all ages. Both credit card and medical debt are discharged completely in Chapter 7. Additionally, most seniors have paid off debts on their properties in years prior, which means they won’t have to worry about their non-exempt properties being liquidated in the Chapter 7 process.

While some seniors can effectively file a Chapter 13 case, most will find more relief through Chapter 7. If you’re considering filing for any type of bankruptcy, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or via email at stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com for more information about debt relief in Waseca, MN.

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