Elderly bankruptcies erase credit debt, make retirement uncertain

More seniors are filing for bankruptcy protection, with rising credit card debt accounting for the majority of cases.

Older bankruptcy filers have been increasing rapidly, a new report suggests. Bankruptcy filings by those 65 and older have risen 150 percent from 1991 to 2007, while filings in the 75 to 84 age bracket climbed by 433 percent during that time.

Older Americans are suffering from increased debt due to unexpected job losses and medical bills, MSN reports. The age group also provides more financial help to younger family members.

“There are a lot of elderly people that are being taken advantage of by bankruptcy attorneys and mortgage brokers who are advising them improperly to pay for the bankruptcy,” Carolyn Rodi, of nonprofit organization Saving Your American Dream, told MSN.

More than one third of participants in the study said they were forced to go back to work after retiring, because of financial hardships.

The bankruptcies have helped many older Americans erase their credit debt, however, many may now be unable to reach their previous retirement goals, according to the study.