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Who files for bankruptcy in the U.S.?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Bankruptcy

You have become one of them – a person who has filed for bankruptcy. You fear being labeled and judged. But what you may not know is that bankruptcy does just surface within a single demographic.

People from various walks of life have chosen this route to steady their financial ship and turn it around. Like them, you want to get back on track in hopes that your debt and financial troubles will soon be in your rearview mirror.

Median age of 45

Just who files for bankruptcy? They are educated, divorced, married, parents, young, middle-aged and elderly and may even be high-income earners. Commonalities that these people share may include a sudden medical emergency, abrupt job loss and divorce.

Here is some background on the people who file for bankruptcy:

  • The average person to file is married, older, graduated from high school and earns less than $30,000 annually.
  • The median age is 45.
  • A total of 20% of bankruptcy filers are 55 or older.
  • Slightly more women than men choose bankruptcy. Women comprised 52% of bankruptcy filers while men accounted for 48%.
  • Married people comprised 64% of bankruptcy filers, while 15% are divorced and 3% widowed.
  • Roughly 8% have filed for bankruptcy before. Repeat filers comprised 16% of all bankruptcy cases.
  • A total of 60% earned salaries of less than $30,000, while a little more than 9% of bankruptcy filers earned more than $60,000.
  • When it comes to education levels, 36% have earned a high school diploma, 29% attended some college and 20% earned a bachelor’s degree or higher degree.

All these people had a serious choice to make, and they chose resolution. The bankruptcy path may lead toward recovery.

Focus on financial education

As you can see, the people who file for bankruptcy run the gamut. Some may have a spending addiction, made questionable financial decisions or experienced a life-changing challenge. Financial education is crucial when going through bankruptcy as well as in dealings post-bankruptcy.

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