The individuals and business who file for bankruptcy have far more debts than money to cover them and don’t see that changing anytime soon. In 2015, bankruptcy filers owed $113 billion and had assets of $77 billion, most of that being real estate holdings, whose real value is debatable. There has to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
What is surprising is that people – not businesses – are the ones most often seeking help. They have taken on financial obligations like a mortgage, auto loan or student loan – or perhaps all three! – and don’t have the income to pay for it. There were 844,495 bankruptcy cases filed in 2015, and 97% of them (819,760) were filed by individuals.
Only 24,375 bankruptcy cases were filed by businesses in 2015.
Most of the people filing bankruptcy were not particularly wealthy. The median income for the 819,760 individuals who filed, was just $34,392 and expenses were just $30,972.
It is important to understand that while bankruptcy is a chance to start over, it definitely affects your credit and future ability to use money. It may prevent or delay foreclosure on a home and repossession of a car and it can also stop wage garnishment and other legal actions creditors use to collect debts, but in the end, there is a price to pay.