Bankruptcy filings down in Phoenix.

A recent article in The Arizona Republic by Russ Wiles reports bankruptcy filings in the Phoenix metro area, bankruptcy filings were down 10% this year from a year ago.  Statewide filings were down 19%.  In fact, Arizona filings have dropped for 38 months.


The number of seniors filing for bankruptcy is up.

One of the fastest growing bankruptcy groups is seniors who had debt when they retired and continue to borrow, according to Blair Mantin, a bankruptcy trustee in Vancouver.  Medical expenses, taxes and other costs continue to go up while retiree income is going down.  Even with Medicare, there are still a lot of out-of-pocket expenses.  “… many seniors are proud and don’t want their families to know the kind of mess they’re in,” says Johanna Sweaney Salt, CPA.  So they begin living off credit cards and suffering from the embarrassment of calls from creditors and debt collectors.  Although many seniors feel that filing bankruptcy carries a stigma of personal failure and shame, “sometimes, it’s their only option – and not necessarily a bad one…. A tremendous burden is lifted from their shoulders and it isn’t as awful as many expect.”

The big question seniors often have is if their retirement savings will taken from them.  The answer to that question is “no.”  Social Security and retirement accounts (up to approximately $1.1 million) are exempt from creditors, so seniors will continue to have that money to fall back on.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Bankruptcy Filings Down in Phoenix, Up for Seniors, or any other Bankruptcy matters, please feel free to contact Joel E. Sannes at 480.461.5307, or log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.