Is Bankruptcy Really For Me at 70? – Frank

“Dear Steve,

Hi Steve.

I came across your reply to suggesting bankruptcy too often while checking the site.

I am hoping you will be able to advise me regarding my huge debt situation.

I am a 70 year old man on social security and a small monthly pension. My income at this time is around $1350.00 a month.

Up until a few months ago I was working and earning a salary and commission and was able to keep up with my credit card payments. But after losing my job unexpectedly, I am unable to make those payments and still be able to live. My overall health is not good and I’m not able continue to work as I did in the past.

My debt came from failed business ventures back in the mid 1990’s and I have been making payments regularly for all these years. My total debt (not sure exactly how much at this time) is somewhere around $25 to $30,000. I have been struggling to keep making payments but have fallen behind on a couple of the cards, while the others are current. I have been trying to work with the creditors on the past due cards, but am not able to meet the amount they want me to pay per month and can not catch up. They call constantly and I am feeling harrassed by them. They call from early morning to late in the evening including Sundays.

I have told them what I thought I could pay and they wanted me to set up automatic withdrawals, which I would never do. Now the late fees are adding up and the debt continues to grow, and so do the interest rates on all my cards.

I have also been contacted by the IRS and have been told that I owe taxes for a couple of years.

This has made me a nervous wreck. I do not sleep well, I’m always in a turmoil inside and am short with people I care about. I see no light at the end of the tunnel, other than the one from the oncoming train.

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I’ve been paying $800+ a month on my credit cards and store cards, and needless to say I can no longer continue.

What would you advise in my situation? Would bankruptcy be an option? I’m very distrustful of trying to find help from a debt reduction or consolidation type of company because I’ve heard of so many people being scammed and winding up worse than they started.

Also, I own no property or car and have almost nothing in a checking account. No savings account, either.

Thanks very much for your time


Dear Frank,

The answer to your question is that bankruptcy would be an appropriate solution for you to consider. Here is why.

At this point in your life your big income earning years are behind you. You are trying to pay off debt that was accumulated during a time that you were getting a paycheck with money from a time that you are not.

The math simply says it is not a sustainable situation and that no matter how much you try to avoid bankruptcy or feel compelled to try other solutions, my bet is you can going to wind up in bankruptcy eventually anyway.

Bankruptcy also seems to tick a number of boxes of issues that are troubling you. It will stop collection activity, eliminate most of your past debt, and allow you to eliminate the stress, anxiety, and depression you are living with.

In a perfect world you’d be able to repay all your debt. You know what my friend, it is not a perfect world.

When I read your situation I see a very proud man that has drifted into a horrible and unsustainable situation. The hardest hurdle you have to overcome is not if bankruptcy is right for you, it is, but how you feel about bankruptcy. It is how you feel about it that will hold you back and dilly dally about actually going bankrupt.

You seemingly have no assets, substance income, and no savings. Frank, you’re done. This is the end of the road for trying to resolve this without legal intervention. Find a local bankruptcy attorney that you like, schedule an appointment to go in face-to-face and discuss bankruptcy. The bankruptcy attorney will evaluate your IRS situation. Depending on how old that debt is it might be able to be included as well.

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The time has come my friend. You are not a loser.

Please update me on your progress by

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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