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Bankruptcy Statistics: Job loss, medical and divorce are top causes

For most people, the word "bankruptcy "conjures up lots of scary images. It has a reputation that’s linked to destitution, desperation and even public humiliation.

That reputation is wrong.

In fact, if you find yourself in financial trouble, Federal Bankruptcy Laws are specifically designed to protect you from that list of frightening things. After all, a fresh start is sometimes the most sensible approach, and filing for bankruptcy can offer the opportunity you need to start rebuilding from scratch.

In short, bankruptcy doesn’t have to be scary, and it’s much more common than most people realize. National bankruptcy statistics show that each year, more than one million Americans file for protection under Federal Bankruptcy Laws. What’s more, statistics indicate:

  • the average age is 38
  • 44 percent are couples filing jointly
  • 30 percent are women filing alone;  26 percent are men filing alone
  • most are slightly better educated than the general population
  • Two out of three have lost a job
  • Half have experienced a serious health problem
  • The vast majority (91 percent ) have suffered a job loss, medical event or divorce
  • 90 percent have two car payments, a house payment, and an average of $2500 in credit card debt
  • 10 percent were delinquent only five to 29 days before bankruptcy

(Source: The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt, Sullivan, Warren, Westbrook.)

In addition, filing for bankruptcy is typically not a newsworthy event (unless you happen to be a celebrity or other prominent figure).  In most cases, the only people who will know that you have filed will be your creditors.

Bankruptcy shouldn’t be entered into lightly. But, at the same time, be sure you’re not misguided by rumors or half-truths. Educate yourself on the facts, so you can accurately assess your financial affairs and chart a course that best meets your needs.

To get answers to your questions or if you think it’s time to consider bankruptcy, call 614-934-1544 or contact us today to schedule a free consultation.