Everyone deals with difficult times in their lives. No age group, geographic area, or other demographic is exempt from financial difficulty.

Senior citizens especially may feel overwhelmed with a fixed or limited income, mounting medical bills, and large amounts of credit card debt. Thankfully, there are ways that seniors can deal with debt even very late in life.

Consider these points:

First, seniors should find solace in the fact that bankruptcy is always an option. There are no upper age limitations on bankruptcy so long as the individual qualifies under the other requirements. Probably the most important aspect of bankruptcy later in life is that many retirement assets are exempt. This is obviously a huge plus since many seniors have invested in 401(k)s or IRAs during their lifetimes to fund their retirements.

Second, debts generally will not pass on to anyone that is not a co-signor. In many instances, the person or persons signing for a debt are the only legally responsible parties. If a person dies with any amount of outstanding debt, the creditor may be paid through the estate if there are sufficient funds available. If there are not sufficient assets in the estate, the creditor may have to take a loss on the debt. 

Third, seniors often have real estate or other assets that can be used to their advantage. Whether a senior citizen is a candidate for bankruptcy or not, it is possible to negotiate with creditors and settle debts that are outstanding. Assets or real property can be converted to cash if needed. These decisions should not be made hastily without knowledge and consideration of the full effects of the option chosen. 

If you are a senior and want to consider options for dealing with your debt, a New Jersey attorney who is well-versed in debt relief and bankruptcy law would be an invaluable resource for you. An attorney can talk you through these issues as well as many others that would be of benefit. If you would like more information on this topic please visit our website.