Richard J. Shurtz, Attorney at Law

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Helping seniors find swift, lasting relief from bill collectors

As many Washington residents move through their lives, they envision their retirement years as a chance to slow down and take the time to enjoy their family and their hobbies. After all, many people work hard for the bulk of their adulthood, setting aside their own interests to support their family and making sacrifices to move ahead in the workplace. Reaching retirement should be a welcome change of pace, and not a source of new types of stress. However, that is the reality for some older Americans who are plagued with high levels of debt, and in need of relief from bill collectors and other financial pressures.

There is nothing to be ashamed of for most people who fall into heavy debt. Those obligations are often the result of an unplanned illness or injury, an unexpected job loss or the need to support various family members through tough times. For many people, overwhelming debt creeps up over time, and does not become readily apparent until the time comes to retire.

Faced with increasing health care costs and a significant monthly debt service obligation, some find that they are backed into a corner. At the same time, many find that their employment options are limited due to their age. Once the bill collectors start calling, the entire situation has spiraled out of control.

In some cases, filing for personal bankruptcy is a wise move for senior citizens. Doing so can lead to the elimination of many types of debt, including medical and credit card debt. It will also lead to relief from bill collectors, which is of special concern to senior citizens who may be at a heightened risk of being scammed. While this is not the best solution for every set of circumstances, Washington residents may want to discuss the matter with an attorney who focuses on personal bankruptcy.

Source:, "Ask an Attorney: Coping with debt as a senior citizen", Xenophon Peters, May 8, 2017

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