Tap to Call - (877) 250-8242

Senior Citizens Still Face Debt, Foreclosure Problems


Often overlooked in discussions of financial health, senior citizens face the same problems with consumer debt and mortgage foreclosures as do younger Americans.

However, the common assumption is that seniors are at a much lower risk for financial troubles. Although, upon closer inspection, not only are senior citizens facing financial struggles at high rates, they also encounter unique obstacles when it comes to reducing debt and avoiding foreclosure.

Seniors and Foreclosure

According to the San Jose Mercury News, government and bank programs that provide mortgage relief for consumers often overlook senior citizens. This gap in financial help leaves senior citizens particularly susceptible to plummeting home values.

In fact, the American Association of Retired Persons found that homeowners who are 55 years of age and older account for about 25 percent of home foreclosures each year. In 2010, seniors will account for over a million foreclosures.

The states with the highest rates of home repossession amongst seniors are Michigan, California, Nevada, and Colorado.

When attempting to remedy their mortgage problems, seniors also face some unique limitations. Specifically, loan modification programs often do not assist senior citizens because most seniors do not have earned incomes.

Further, because their options are so limited, seniors are more likely to fall prey to financial predators. These sharks claim to be able to save a senior’s home from foreclosure, but require an initial fee. In the worst cases, these predators may walk away with both the fee and the title to the house.

Seniors and Debt

In a trend that reflects national financial events, the state of Maine has faced a dramatic increase in the number of elderly consumers in debt.

One debt relief agency in the state estimates that the number of seniors in debt has risen by at least 40 percent in the last few years. As the average age in the United States continues to rise, a rapidly aging population will face unique issues with consumer debt.

Particularly, senior citizens often encounter difficult circumstances such as the death of a spouse or an increase in medical expenses. Such incidents pose daunting financial challenges, especially to people with fixed incomes.

Also, unlike younger people, many older Americans cannot respond to financial emergencies by getting a second or third job.

Of course, not every financial challenge is more difficult for senior citizens.

One advantage for seniors tackling debt problems is that their mortgages are often very low, since they’ve typically spent years paying off their home loan. In some cases, seniors may use the equity from their home to reduce debt. But even this move comes with problems, and reverse mortgages have caused distress in many families.

In addition, another option for seniors with debt is to file bankruptcy. While the filing may affect their credit rating, this may not affect a senior the same way it would a younger person and may even allow an older American to save his or her home.

» Back to Bankruptcy Articles

Tap to Call - (877) 250-8242

PAID ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT: THIS WEB SITE IS A GROUP ADVERTISEMENT AND THE PARTICIPATING ATTORNEYS ARE INCLUDED BECAUSE THEY PAY AN ADVERTISING FEE. It is not a lawyer referral service or prepaid legal services plan. Total Bankruptcy is not a law firm. Your request for contact will be forwarded to the local lawyer who has paid to advertise in the ZIP code you provide. Total Bankruptcy does not endorse or recommend any lawyer or law firm who participates in the network nor does it analyze a person's legal situation when determining which participating lawyers receive a person's inquiry. It does not make any representation and has not made any judgment as to the qualifications, expertise or credentials of any participating lawyer. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. The information contained herein is not legal advice. Any information you submit to Total Bankruptcy does not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be protected by attorney-client privilege. Do not use the form to submit confidential, time-sensitive, or privileged information. All photos are of models and do not depict clients. All case evaluations are performed by participating attorneys. To see the attorney in your area who is responsible for this advertisement, please click here, or call 866-200-8052.

FLORIDA ONLY: Total Bankruptcy is considered a lawyer referral service in the state of Florida under the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct. By all other standards, Total Bankruptcy is a group advertisement and not a lawyer referral service.

If you live in Mississippi, Missouri, New York or Wyoming, please click here for additional information.

By an Act of Congress and the President of the United States, we are a federal Debt Relief Agency. Attorneys and/or law firms promoted through this Web site are also federally designated Debt Relief Agencies. They help people file for relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Disclosures Required Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.