The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a womans appeal of a default judgment entered against her regarding credit
card debt because she did not file an Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) motion for relief.
Carrie Greer owed Discover Bank approximately $15,000 in credit card debt. The company had the Morgan County Sheriffs Department serve her with copies of the summons and complaint, but she did not appear or otherwise answer the complaint. After she received a copy of the default judgment against her in the mail, she requested a stay of the default judgment to pursue an appeal. The trial court granted the motion.
Greer maintained that she was not adequately served with the summons and complaint, so the default judgment against her is void. Discover Bank countered that she did not properly preserve her arguments for appellate review because she did not first file with the trial court a Trial Rule 60(B) motion for relief from judgment.
Since she did not, her appeal is not properly before the Court of Appeals, Judge Edward Najam wrote in Carrie A. Greer v. Discover Bank, 55A01-1509-CC-1488, citing Siebert Oxidermo, Inc. v. Shields, 446 NE2d 332, 337 (Ind. 1983).
The average bad marriage lasts 12 long years, says the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The average bad debt - were talking credit cards here - endures for a painful 15 years longer.
Yes, few people consider taking out a bigger credit-card commitment than tying the knot but just putting in the minimum can mean double the pledge on the former.
WASHINGTON #x2014; We like to daydream that our senior years will be not just a retirement from long work hours, awful commutes and bosses who get on our nerves, but a respite with fewer financial worries.
Increasingly, however, seniors are carrying into retirement a burden thats just too heavy. Too many seniors are retiring with a lot of debt or accumulating debt after they leave the workforce.
The National Council on Aging looked at debt among seniors, and its survey results are troubling. Professionals who work with seniors were asked questions about their clients debt load and how it impacted their economic security.
The councils report, released this week, found that debt is a major issue especially for seniors who are in poor health and already struggling financially.
Living on a fixed income can make it difficult to budget adequately to leave a cushion for emergencies, the report said. As such, unexpected costs #x2014; an unforeseen hospitalization, a vehicle requiring repair, or even emergency veterinary care for a sick pet #x2014; can plunge seniors into unmanageable debt.
Fifty-one percent of the surveyed professionals said they frequently deal with seniors who have overwhelming medical debt, and 36 percent said they see seniors with unmanageable, overdue utility charges. Almost 30 percent said they frequently see seniors with burdensome credit card debt.
We know from various other surveys that American households have been piling on debt. And unfortunately, that trend has not escaped the senior population. The Federal Reserve Boards Survey of Consumer Finances found that, among older adult households with debt, median total debt increased from $18,385 in 2001 to $40,900 in 2013, according to the council report.
One in four senior households with credit card debt had a balance of at least $7,200 in 2013. To some of you this may not seem like much. But seniors are racking up debt at a time in their lives when theyre likely to be on a fixed income. They cant rely on raises or job-hopping for better pay to help dig them out.
In 2007, only 0.5 percent of senior households had taken out payday loans. By 2013, it was 2.2 percent. With payday loans, borrowers give lenders postdated personal checks or authorize an electronic funds withdrawal. The loans are supposed to be paid back quickly: by the time the loan recipient is paid again or gets a benefit check. But customers can spend months trying to pay back the money, rolling one loan into another #x2014; and amassing hundreds of dollars in fees. I wouldnt want to see a single senior end up on this type of loan hamster wheel.
Heres why all this matters. When seniors cant make ends meet, they start to make financial compromises, said Maggie Flowers, the National Council on Agings associate director for economic security. She added that some professionals who were interviewed work with seniors who cut their medication dosages to save money. Others cancel doctor appointments. They miss rent or mortgage payments. They dont make home repairs. They skip meals. Or they avoid meeting up with friends because they cant afford it.
If they dont make needed home repairs, that increases the risk of accidents and falls, Flowers said. Regularly cutting pills is extremely dangerous. Avoiding social engagements can lead to isolation. Missing meals can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
In addition to bringing needed attention to this issue, the council is trying to enable financially overwhelmed seniors to better help themselves. It has created a resource page, www.ncoa.org/seniordebt , on its website to give seniors some guidance.
If you know a senior in debt, encourage him or her to use the councils BenefitsCheckUp tool, www.benefitscheckup.org, a free resource that helps people figure out if they qualify for programs that provide financial assistance for health care, prescriptions, food and other services. The database includes more than 2,000 public and private benefits programs from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Answer a few questions and seniors get a general list of available aid. But if they press ahead and provide additional information about, among other things, household income, expenses and assets, theyll get some information with state-specific programs and other benefits.
The council also has an EconomicCheckUp tool, www.economiccheckup.org, that provides budgeting assistance, calculators, tips to manage debt and other money-management resources.
If nothing else, use the councils report to start a conversation with a senior who may need help. This issue isnt about somebody elses relative. It could be your loved one. And it may touch you one day.
Older Americans have more than doubled their amount of debt over a dozen years, and many of them make ends meet by forgoing home or car repairs and cutting medications in half, according to a new report by the National Council on Aging.
"We need to recognize that debt is a problem among this population, and help prepare older adults to better manage their future medical, housing and other daily expenses as they age," Maggie Flowers, the council's associate director for economic security, said in a statement.
The council looked at government figures on the debt levels of households headed by adults age 60 and older as of 2013. Among the findings:
- The median total debt has more than doubled from $18,285 in 2001 to $40,900 in 2013.
- One in 25 households had a negative net worth, meaning their liabilities surpassed their assets. In 2001, 1 in 50 had a negative net worth.
- More households carry credit card debt and more of it. Nearly one-third of households owed money on a credit card -- up from just over a quarter of them a dozen years ago. And the median credit card debt over that time doubled to $2,450.
Mortgage loans make up the largest slice of debt among older consumers, as homeowners over the past decade have taken advantage of historically low interest rates to refinance and tap the equity in their houses, says Lori Trawinski, director of banking and finance at the AARP Public Policy Institute.
Borrowers typically don't take out loans that they don't expect to repay, although unexpected setbacks such as an illness or the loss of a job or spouse can make that debt unmanageable, Trawinski adds. And the older you are, the harder it is to overcome these setbacks, she says.
The council surveyed some professionals who work at senior centers, Area Agencies on Aging and other agencies to find out what trade-offs older consumers are making to manage their debt. Many report that seniors forgo needed home or car repairs, cut pills, avoid social engagements, skip medical appointments and meals, and miss rent and mortgage payments to try to make ends meet.
The council offers two online services to assist seniors. The EconomicsCheckUp can help older adults reduce debt, find work and cut spending, while BenefitsCheckUp posts information on federal, state and local benefits available to lower-income households.
AARP also offers online calculators to help with budgeting and managing debt. And AARP's Work amp; Jobs site can help with a job search.