Medical debt is currently the main cause of personal bankruptcy filings in the United States, and people who are 65 or older comprise approximately 8% of the individuals who file for bankruptcy. There are several reasons why this age group has high levels of medical debt including that the 2008 recession impacted this group significantly and wives who are most often outliving their husbands. Older individuals often also face predatory debt collectors. While bankruptcy is often an option for starting over financially, older clients also see bankruptcy as an opportunity to make themselves happy again.
In addition to being complicated, filing for bankruptcy can be an embarrassing process for many older adults. This article will review some of the important tips that an older adult in Oklahoma can take to avoid filing for bankruptcy.
Contact Your Creditors
A person might be able to negotiate a repayment plan with creditors. As a result, it is often important to contact a supervisor at each company to which you owe money as soon as you notice debts. Providing detailed notes about who you spoke to and what time the conversation occurred can later help in various steps of the repayment process.
Decide on a Repayment Plan
There are various ways in which people try to establish repayment plans. Some people choose to pay the debt with the highest interest rate and make minimum payments on the other arrangements. On other hand, some couples decide to pay the smallest debt while making minimum payments on other accounts. Depending on what type of credit arrangements you have, one of these strategies will likely work better than the other.
Determine a Repayment Plan
Many older adults discover that working part-time can help substantially to eliminate debts. In some cases, however, this might not be an option. In other cases, an older person might have an emergency savings fund, which can be used to pay these debts.
Take Immediate Action
A person should begin to take steps to take control of his or her financial difficulties upon realizing that problems exist. A person should always avoid waiting until the debt proceeds to collections or lawsuits originate before taking control of these measures.
Speak to a Credit Counselor
Older adults who spent greater than 20% of their income to repay debts frequently benefit from speaking to a credit counselor. Among the various ways in which these counselors can help include developing budgets and organizing finances. The United States Department of Justice Offers a list of approved credit counselors.
Learn About Filing for Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is the process by which a person is able to take control of his or her financial situation and in many cases discharges debts that the person is unable to pay. Because there are several different types of bankruptcy processes, it is often important for a person to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each process. If you need the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney, speak with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney like lawyer Jim A Lyon.