Professors Survey the Causes of Bankruptcy Among Older Americans

Contact Brandi Palmer
Manager of Media Relations


Two Stetson University College of Law professors are surveying thousands of people in an attempt to help pinpoint the leading causes of bankruptcy among older Americans.

Approximately 3,000 people aged 60 or older who filed for bankruptcy in Florida recently received a two-page voluntary survey and letter requesting their participation. The surveys are due next week, and results are expected in late May.

Professors Theresa Pulley Radwan and Boston Asset Management Chair Rebecca Morgan, who directs the Center for Excellence in Elder Law at Stetson, are conducting the study, which could help determine if bankruptcy laws should be changed to protect older Americans.

“Ultimately, we may want to propose changes to the laws regarding bankruptcy for older Americans, and provide their attorneys with additional information to help their older clients avoid bankruptcy,” said Radwan, who is a bankruptcy-law expert.

Credit-card debt, home-insurance costs, medical bills, job loss and mortgage payments are among the reasons surveyed for filing bankruptcy.

“Learning more about the financial situation of this age group and the role that medical debt plays in their financial situation will help when planning for the long term,” said Morgan.

The results of the survey will also be published in an academic article. Information shared by participants will remain anonymous.

For more information, contact Professor Radwan at (727) 562-7361 or