Many Elderly People File Bankruptcy Because of Credit Card Debt
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Increase in Elder Bankruptcy Linked to Credit Card Debt

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October 13, 2010

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Increase in elder bankruptcy linked to credit card debt

A recent study shows that not only are more elderly people filing for bankruptcy but that many are citing credit card debt and interest as the reason for doing so.

According to Forbes, in 1991 people aged 65 and up made up about 2.1 percent of people filing bankrupcty. In 2007, that number jumped to 7 percent.

A new study by University of Michigan Law School Professor John A. E. Pottow found that about two-thirds of senior citizens claimed credit card debt as their reason for filing bankruptcy, compared to only 53 percent of younger people who filed.

Additionally, Pottow discovered that elderly people declaring bankruptcy carried an average of $27,213 in credit card debt, compared to $15,499 for younger bankrupts.

Pottow suggest that this may be because older folks are more reluctant to ask family and friends for money.

"You don’t have to have an awful conversation with your kids (about your financial problems). You just fill out that thing that came in the mail and you don’t have to tell the kids,’" he told the news source.


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