Roughly 12% of those who file for bankruptcy in Tennessee and other states are 65 and older. The rate was only 2% in 1991, and there are several reasons why older Americans are doing so more frequently. Generally speaking, older people are less likely to work, which may make it harder to pay their medical bills. Of those over age 65 who file for bankruptcy, 60% do so because they can’t afford to repay a medical debt.

Those who file for bankruptcy may also struggle to keep their home or other assets, and that could further complicate their financial situation. A bankruptcy can stay on a person’s credit report for up to 10 years. However, it becomes less of a hindrance after a year or two. Individuals who have filed for bankruptcy are encouraged to apply for a secured credit card as quickly as possible.

After about a year, the secured credit line will typically convert into an unsecured credit line. Furthermore, individuals may be entitled to get their security deposit back once this happens. Those who have gone through a bankruptcy are also encouraged to focus on saving as much as possible. Ideally, individuals will save at least 10% of each paycheck and aim to have enough money to cover their expenses for at least three months if necessary.

A person who is looking for a way to reduce or eliminate credit card debt or other forms of debt may want to file for bankruptcy. This may allow that individual to have debts discharged in a matter of weeks or months. An attorney may help a person file for bankruptcy or talk more about the other benefits of doing so. Those benefits may include a stay of creditor contact until the case is over.