I am often asked by sons and daughters who are trying to help their parents who are being harassed by debt collection agencies: “Should my elderly parents file for bankruptcy?” When your parents are overwhelmed by debt, it can be difficult to get a good understanding of their financial situation, either because your parent forgets whether the debt is legitimate, or because the debt has been sold multiple times and the collector is different than they remember. Here is a quick guide for determining whether or not your elderly parents should file for bankruptcy in Littleton, Aurora, or Centennial:
[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”70%”]It is best to consult with an attorney before making decisions regarding your parent’s finances.[/pullquote]
- Understand the Big Picture: Dig into your parent’s finances. Are they in a lot of debt? Checking their credit report can provide a clearer picture of the real situation and help you come up with a strategy.
- Find Legitimate Debt: Rule out any debt which isn’t legitimate. These are debts which are fake (fake collection notices), stale, or past the statute of limitations (contact an attorney regarding these debts. We can help you contact collection agencies and demand proof the debt can still be collected).
- Find Unprotected Assets: Review the exemptions laws for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Find out if your parents have any assets which won’t be protected by bankruptcy.
- Decide On a Course of Action:
- If you find your parents have only a small amount of legitimate debt, they may want to consider a settlement with the creditor (in writing).
- If you find your parents have a large amount of debt and limited assets (retirement funds are not included), filing for bankruptcy is the best option.
Elderly Parents: Consult With an Attorney Before Making a Decision about Bankruptcy
If your parents have no assets to protect, bankruptcy might not be the best choice. This is because retirement funds, pension benefits, and social security are often exempt and cannot be collected by creditors. Because the bankruptcy code is complex and confusing, the Colorado Bankruptcy Court advises people to work with a lawyer who is knowledgeable and has a strong grasp of the bankruptcy code. If you are wondering whether or not your elderly parents should file for bankruptcy, it is best to consult with a professional who can look at your specific situation and help your parents get the best fresh start possible.
If you are asking yourself: “Should my elderly parents file for bankruptcy?” Don’t hesitate: Contact experienced Greenwood Village, Highlands Ranch, and Parker bankruptcy lawyer Barry Arrington at 303-205-7870, or submit the “Get Help Now” form. He will fight to give your parents the
best, fresh start possible.
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