Bankruptcy & Seniors

A sad factor of these economic times is that people over the age of say, 55, are finding themselves out of a job with little prospect of finding something comparable. Generally they will start pulling funds out of their retirement accounts just to stay even, eventually depleting those accounts until there is nothing left but the dismal prospect of supplementing their Social Security with a job as a greeter at WalMart. I am seeing more and more seniors who used to have six figure incomes now trying to live on income one fourth the size. Trouble is, spending hasn't changed, either because of incurring debt based on an expectation of a higher income or because of supplementing their lower income by incurring additional debt.

In Colorado, anyone over the age of 60 enjoys higher exemptions. For example while the normal homestead exemption is $60,000.00, seniors (over the age of 60) are entitled to a exemption of $90,000.00. What this does is protect more equity in your home. That is, of course, if there is any equity left. Exemptions are that portion of state law that allows you to keep certain things. The exemption is expressed in dollar amounts rather than in things. In other words, you don't get to keep a car regardless of value, rather you have value of $10,000 in equity in a motor vehicle per person if you are over 60. People under 60 only have an exemption of $5,000.00 per person.

All of your retirement fund is protected.

The fact of filing for seniors is now common because of loss of retirement funds and fixed SSI income insufficient to pay expenses. I understand filing is inimical to upbringing – that you never thought or wanted to file, but the reality of todays economy allows for no other conclusion.