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Adulting Includes Considering Filing for BankruptcyThe Page Law Firm is proud to be celebrating its 18th anniversary this April. We all remember how much of a milestone it was when we turned 18. It was the age when we legally became adults and gained all of the rights that come with adulthood. While becoming an adult is exciting, it also means taking responsibility for yourself in ways you did not have to before. The term “adulting” has become a popular way to describe actions and behavior that relate to adult responsibility. Learning fiscal responsibility can be one of the toughest adulting lessons for some young adults. When in a financial bind, responsible adults may need to make tough decisions, such as whether to file for bankruptcy.

Understanding Bankruptcy

You may be familiar with bankruptcy as a term but misunderstand what it really is. References to bankruptcy in popular culture can give you the mistaken idea that bankruptcy is something to be afraid of. Maybe your introduction to the word “bankruptcy” was watching “Wheel of Fortune,” where landing on bankruptcy meant losing all of your winnings. The truth is that filing for bankruptcy:

  • Does not mean you will lose all of your money
  • Does not mean you were irresponsible with your finances
  • Does not make you a failure
  • Does not mean that your credit score is ruined

Bankruptcy is a way to protect your financial assets while clearing your unsecured debt and your secured debt if you want to surrender the collateral that secures the loan. Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. file for bankruptcy every year and most of them are responsible people who went through unfortunate circumstances. Filing for bankruptcy will not cripple your credit rating. Filers can start rebuilding their credit scores soon after their case is finished.

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When Should Senior Citizens Consider Filing for Bankruptcy?Senior citizens who are in debt may look at bankruptcy differently than someone younger. Their incomes are often lower than when they were working, making it more difficult to pay their debts on their own. They may also have a lot to lose if a creditor obtains a judgment against them and they have accumulated valuable assets during their lives. Bankruptcy may not be right or necessary for every senior who is struggling with debt, but many seniors could benefit from the process. If you are a senior citizen, here are three situations in which you should strongly consider filing for bankruptcy:

  1. Your Medical Bills Are Piling Up: It is an unavoidable fact that your medical expenses will increase as you get older. You will have more visits to the doctor to monitor your health and are at greater risk of needing an expensive medical procedure or your monthly medications are incredibly expensive. A run of bad luck with your health can leave you with outrageous medical bills that your health insurance does not completely cover. By filing for bankruptcy, you can potentially discharge those bills in a matter of months or enter a manageable repayment plan.
  2. You Are Still Working: Some seniors continue to work beyond the age that they expected to retire, usually because they need the income. Others start a second career at a new job to keep themselves busy after retirement. If your creditors receive a judgment from a court, the creditors can obtain writs of attachment and begin seizing assets as one of their means of enforcement. They cannot take from your social security money or retirement benefits that you have not withdrawn, but they can take from the income you are earning at your job. Filing for bankruptcy will put an automatic stay on collection activities.
  3. You Have Valuable Assets You Need to Protect: Seniors often have a large amount of equity in their homes and vehicles. If you are at risk of defaulting on your home mortgage or vehicle loan, bankruptcy can protect your equity in those properties. Texas’s homestead exemption allows you to exempt your total equity in your home during bankruptcy. Texas’s motor vehicle exemption allows you to exempt one vehicle per licensed member of your household or a vehicle used to transport an unlicensed household member. The second part of the vehicle exemption is relevant for seniors who are no longer allowed to drive but still own a vehicle.

Contact a Frisco Bankruptcy Attorney

Filing for bankruptcy is an important decision that you should discuss with a professional. A Denton County bankruptcy lawyer at The Page Law Firm can advise you on whether bankruptcy would be useful in your situation. Schedule a free consultation by calling 214-618-2101.

Source:

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National Association of Consumer Bancruptcy Attorneys State Bar of Texas
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