Law Offices of Buddy D. Ford, P.A.

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Will you be broke in your golden years?

It's a sobering thought -- facing your final years without the resources to maintain a comfortable lifestyle and meet your everyday needs. However, many Florida senior citizens face these untenable circumstances. Their expenses and debts are overwhelming.

There's a gap between their monthly resources and their expenses. To try to close this gap, many older residents are overextending themselves and their credit limits. They get caught up in the trap of minimum payments and subsequent late fees and wind up spiraling out of debt. Finally, they are left with very few options to reconcile their finances.

But most senior citizens come from a place and time where self-sufficiency was the rule and not the exception. As a result, they may loathe taking the definitive step that could free them from the chains of debt.

It could be time to start seriously considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. Choosing this form of bankruptcy may be more palatable to older Americans because it does not wipe out all debts. Rather, it provides a framework for reorganizing their debts and allows them to set up a workable three- or five-year plan during which they make monthly payments that trustees then distribute to their creditors.

With less of a stigma involved with filing for Chapter 13 than Chapter 7, fewer debtors remain opposed to this type of bankruptcy protection.

If you think that you might benefit from the protections offered by Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your first move should be to seek legal guidance to determine whether a bankruptcy filing is truly in your best interests.

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