The Bankruptcy Statistics No One Talks About
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may also be plagued with feelings of guilt and shame. Many individuals feel like failures when they get to this point financially, and worry that the taboo against fiscal breakdown will leave them judged harshly by family and friends. But perhaps there are some facts about bankruptcy that you haven’t given thought to.
Instead of self-reproach, understanding the factors related to bankruptcy filings in this country can help you to realize that financial disaster is often out of peoples’ hands:
- The fact of the matter is, just five percent of those who file bankruptcy are in financial straits because they simply lived beyond their means. In years past, frivolous spending accounted for a larger chunk of filings, but more and more families have reined in expenditures so the number of those with serious problems in this area amount to a tiny minority of cases.
- The majority of people who file for bankruptcy have very low household incomes, with three in five earning below $30,000 annually, while nine in ten individuals earn less than $60,000.
- 2020 saw more mega bankruptcies—those related to billion-dollar companies—than any year in the previous decade.
- Medical expenses top the list of reasons that people file for bankruptcy—with over 60 percent of cases related to horrendous medical situations. Astonishingly, nearly three-fourths of those filers did have health insurance of some kind. That’s because when serious illness or rare diseases strike, patient co-pays will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, leaving many with no option but to file for bankruptcy.
- Education correlates with bankruptcy filings, with nearly four in ten filings by high school graduates, and two in ten having a college degree.
- Former President Trump filed chapter 11 bankruptcy claims quite regularly—with at least six such claims so far.
- Credit card debt is linked to bankruptcy, most often related to emergencies, job losses, or medical bills.
- Nearly one in ten people filing for bankruptcy have filed in the past at least once—and these repeat filers comprise over 15 percent of all bankruptcy filings. Some believe that these repeat filers are gaming the system.
- The majority of bankruptcy filings—64 percent– are for married couples, many of whom file jointly.
- Single males file for bankruptcy in just over half of case, the majority of whom file after losing a job.
- Single females, who file at a rate of 48 percent, most often find themselves in financial difficulty following a divorce.
Get the Best Advice Moving Forward
If you find yourself in a financially precarious situation, it may be time to proceed with a filing for bankruptcy. At the Law Office of Julia Kefalinos, we’re here to help, not to judge. Schedule a confidential consultation with our Miami bankruptcy attorneys in our office today.