Many retirees or seniors looking to retire find themselves dealing with mounting debt and major financial struggles from unexpected setbacks. Sometimes it can seem like bankruptcy might be the only option to stop the creditor calls and avoid losing everything. No matter what your financial situation currently looks like, always talk to a skilled elder law attorney to go over all the possibilities before starting the bankruptcy process.
How Bankruptcy Affects Senior Citizens in New York
Unfortunately, it is all too easy for a medical crisis or home emergency to completely wipe out a lifetime of savings. Phone and online scams that can quickly empty out bank accounts are also increasingly focusing on senior citizens who may be less tech-savvy.
If you can’t afford the minimum on your credit cards without dipping into money for necessities like rent and medicine, then bankruptcy may become necessary. In situations where you still have significant assets such as rental properties, businesses, or multiple vehicles, you may end up losing everything you’ve built up, however.
That’s why you should talk with an attorney about what can potentially be exempted and kept during the bankruptcy process, such as:
- Interest in your home below a certain equity threshold
- A certain amount of cash assets if you don’t use the home exemption
- Retirement accounts
- Social Security
- Your primary vehicle (up to a specific amount of worth)
Depending on your financial and family situation, bankruptcy isn’t always the best choice for a senior citizen. It doesn’t always make sense for elderly New Yorkers to spend years reconstructing their credit from scratch, especially in cases where they may need monetary assistance to cover costs like a nursing home or in-home care.
An attorney can help you consider other possibilities for protecting your assets while recovering, such as utilizing trusts or other financial strategies in place of bankruptcy.
Talk to an Elder Law Attorney Before Making Any Decisions
Bankruptcy is a serious, life-altering process, but there are times when it is absolutely needed. Before taking this step, consult an experienced attorney to make sure you fully understand all the details. Call or message us to set up a consultation so we can learn about your situation and find out how Theodore Alatsas can help safeguard your financial future.