Both in Massachusetts and nationally there has been a
significant increase in bankruptcy filings by older Americans; particularly
over 55, but the percentages have gone way up overall in the last several
years.  Part of the reason is that older
Americans or elders might have substantial health or medical bills. Their
income may be either limited or fixed based on their age or other
circumstances. The family income may have decreased for a variety of reasons as
well. Sometimes because of the decrease in income or the increase in health
related costs, people’s credit cards go up as well and also it used to be that
mortgages were more likely to be paid off at an early stage and now in many
circumstances the mortgages remain and the balances are very difficult to pay
along with credit cards and other expenses.