Deciding to file for bankruptcy can be an agonizing process, and one that sometimes can lead to feelings of guilt or shame. In order to offer you some respite for these feelings, it’s important to think of the common reasons for filing bankruptcy, and who files for bankruptcy. The common belief is that people who file for bankruptcy just cannot properly manage their finances, and while this may be true in some cases, the larger majority of those who chose this method of debt relief are people that have run into unexpected or unintentional life events such as a loss of employment, serious injury or illness, or divorce. Financial mismanagement is not among even the top five top reasons individuals file for bankruptcy.
So who are the people filing for bankruptcy? The answer is that individuals from all walks of life file for bankruptcy; from entrepreneurs to working class people and from holders of doctorate degrees to individuals with high school educations. While bankruptcies in America are at historic lows, there are still nearly 1 million people and companies per year filing for bankruptcy to help achieve debt relief. Here is a rough break down of some of the key bankruptcy related demographics related to filings 5 years ago:
- 52% of bankruptcy filers were male
- 60% of bankruptcy filers had an annual income of under $30,000
- 64% of all bankruptcy filers were married
- 36% of bankruptcy filers’ highest complete education level was high school
While this doesn’t create a complete picture, it’s unlikely that a universal profile for bankruptcy exists. There are many considerations to take into account when weighing bankruptcy as a debt relief option. Not only do you have multiple types of bankruptcy, there are also several alternatives. Credit card debt, medical debt, and other unsecured debt are the leading causes of bankruptcy and we often times don’t get to decide when these costs will arise. If you are debating filing bankruptcy, the smart play is to consult an experienced Dayton OH bankruptcy attorney to find out if you are eligible, if your debts can be canceled, and if bankruptcy is the best option for your unique situation.