Almost every day I hear a client say the words, “You know, this is the last place I ever thought I’d be.” The client often tries to explain to me that they aren’t the kind of person who doesn’t pay their bills or skip out on a debt. People have been conditioned to think that people who can’t pay their bills are somehow defective.
After saying all this, you may ask, “Well, Amanda, who exactly is the kind of person who files bankruptcy?” To answer that, I have looked at numerous studies about the types of people who file bankruptcy and I explain below what the average bankruptcy filer looks like.
The typical person seeking protection
Married, white, educated, mid 40s to early 50s. Both have steady employment. You may say to yourself, What?!? That sounds like me, or my neighbor, or my parents or half the people I work with and you would be right. It could be anyone. Not very distinctive, is it? That’s the average person who files bankruptcy. Most of them find themselves seeking bankruptcy protection for some reason or another, a loss of income, an extended illness, a failed business opportunity. In today’s world, it doesn’t take long to find yourself in financial trouble.
Over the last few years, the age of those seeking bankruptcy protection has risen dramatically. A lot of that is due to seniors carrying large mortgage payments and consumer debts into retirement. Only once the income they’ve depended on has gone away do they realize that they just can’t make it anymore. Even here in Metro Atlanta, where my practice is based, I’m seeing more and more people come in who had a salary in excess of $100,000 at their last job. For one reason or another, they are now unemployed, underemployed or investments they made aren’t producing the expected amount of income. People who could make things work with their former salary suddenly can’t find a way to make ends meet now and can’t easily lower expenses.
The faces of bankruptcy clients
In the past month, my newest clients have included people such as:
- A woman in her 60s with a Ph.D who had to take a leave of absence to care for an elderly parent.
- A young woman in her mid 20s struggling because she cosigned a loan with her sister.
- A couple in their early 60s struggling with debt but looking squarely into the face of uncertainty in retirement.
- A high income professional in her mid 30s who is facing a divorce.
- A small business owner in his 40s who has seen his sales drop because of unexpected competition in his field.
The kind of person who files bankruptcy, you ask? Well, as you can see, people from all backgrounds, places in life and income levels. One thing all these people had in common though? They were smart enough to see that bankruptcy offers a way out of a difficult situation and opens the door to financial freedom and a brighter future.
If you’re a person who is staring at your finances and wondering how you’re going to make it, don’t wait and don’t stress it anymore. You NEED to come speak with an attorney TODAY. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping people from every walk of life get their finances back on track.