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1. Age: The numbers suggest that older people file bankruptcy more often than younger folks. Most of the filers (56%) were between the ages of 35 and 54. And those older than 54 outnumber filers under 35 years old.
2. Gender: Although more men are filing bankruptcy these days, in general women file more than men.
3. Race: Bankruptcy filers are overwhelmingly Caucasian (72%), 11% are African American, and Hispanics come in third at 9%.
4. Education level: The more educated you are, the more likely you may file bankruptcy. College graduates and those with graduate degrees make up more than 57% of filers; those with high school diplomas or GEDs come in second at 36%, and less than 6% of all bankruptcy filers did not graduate from high school.
5. Income level: Not surprisingly, those with incomes under $20,000 annually were the highest group to file at 38%, with the next highest group (21%) earning between $20,000 and $30,000 annually. Apparently, both these percentages have declined since the study began. The third highest group earned between $30,000 and $40,000 annually – a percentage also on the decline. Finally, those filers in the highest income category (over $60,000 annually) almost doubled to 9% during the 5-year study period.
6. Job Status: Most filers also had jobs (70%). Only 17% were currently unemployed, and the rest were considered to be out of the job market because they were retired, students, or homemakers.
7. Marital Status: Married couples make up 64% of all bankruptcy filers, and less than 15% of unmarried filers were divorced."
See more of the article - The Many Faces of Bankruptcy - using the Institute for Financial Literacy five-year study to get a better understanding of who files bankruptcy and why.
Based on my practice, these statistics do not really shock me. But I do find them interesting. I think this study demonstrates that average people ... our neighbors, friends and co-workers find themselves in tough financial straits and need help.
If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Mark Medvesky or our firm of Wells, Hoffman, Holloway & Medvesky LLP, check out our website at www.whhmlaw.com.
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