The current recession might be hitting those over 50 years old the hardest. Many saw their retirement savings dwindle when the market collapsed in 2008 and might even be trying to re-enter the workforce after being laid-off.
A survey by the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) revealed that one-third of survey respondents saw their home values plummet and many have fallen behind on credit card payments. Almost 50 percent of the respondents expressed doubt about being as secure in retirement as their parents’ generation. Seniors facing financial challenges may want to consider their bankruptcy options and the positive impact of bankruptcy on what should be their golden years.
Understanding Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions
Many of the available exemptions in bankruptcy can be particularly beneficial to seniors. The homestead exemption allows people to maintain the equity in their homes, depending on the type of bankruptcy the filers choose. Bankruptcy also has an automatic stay on collection actions by creditors, including foreclosure proceedings, so those who have fallen behind on mortgage payments and are facing foreclosure may still have a chance to save their homes.
Social Security benefits and retirement savings are generally not included in what the court considers ‘the bankruptcy estate.’ For those that live off of retirement payments and Social Security benefits, you may be able to protect your income from creditors by filing for Florida bankruptcy relief.
Additionally, some types of income, such as Social Security benefits are not included in the bankruptcy means test. Many retired people may find that they are eligible to have much of their unsecured debt, such as credit card and medical bills, discharged in a Florida Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
Life After a Florida Bankruptcy
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to filing bankruptcy for seniors is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they do not have to suffer through creditor harassment any longer or be concerned about how they are going to pay their debts. They can enjoy retirement, after having worked hard all of their lives, knowing that they are financially secure.
Many seniors resist filing bankruptcy, having grown up in an era when filing bankruptcy was much less common. However, seniors should realize that bankruptcy is a legal tool for reorganizing finances to get out from under crushing debt, not a stain on their characters.
If you are struggling financially and wondering how you will make it in retirement, or whether you will even be able to retire, consult an experienced Orlando bankruptcy lawyer who can discuss your situation with you and advise you of all of your options.