If you are age 65 or older and facing substantial credit card debt issues, you are not alone. The National Consumer Law Center reports that, nationwide, people in this age demographic have approximately four times as much credit card debt as people aged 25 and younger. In fact, people between the ages of 65 and 69 saw their credit card debt increase by an average of 217% between 1992 and 2001.
Since then, you likely have had to rely on your credit cards more and more to make ends meet. Several factors, including the following, probably have contributed to this unfortunate situation:
- Your health care costs have skyrocketed.
- Your Medicare coverage has gaps.
- Your Social Security benefits cannot keep pace with your ever-increasing costs.
- You have depleted what little savings you managed to accumulate over the years.
All of this makes you a prime candidate for the phenomenon known as gray bankruptcy, the term applied to bankruptcies filed by those over the age of 65.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can offer you many advantages, including the following:
- The discharge eliminates your obligation to pay your credit card debts as well as many other types of debts.
- Your creditors cannot harass you for repayment once you file bankruptcy.
- Your utility companies cannot disconnect your services for nonpayment or late payments.
If you fear that filing bankruptcy will damage your reputation, think again. Bankruptcy is a perfectly legal way to get out of debt, and one used by millions of people caught up in hard economic times. In addition, although bankruptcies are a matter of public record, reporters and others do not hang around bankruptcy courts waiting to discover who filed. Consequently, your family and friends stand little chance of learning about your bankruptcy unless you choose to tell them about it.