Startling and Not-So-Startling Statistics about Bankruptcy

December 20, 2011 1:54 pm Published by

At the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices, we’re all about people and about numbers,failure diagram in just that order.  While statistics can sometimes be of help to me in understanding trends and in predicting how a bankruptcy Chapter 7 petition is likely to be received by the court, the  truth is each couple, each individual, each small business is unique.

I think the main reason it’s important for me to share statistics about individual bankruptcy in Indiana is so that clients won’t feel they’re the only ones that are going through financial difficulties.  The reason that’s important, in turn (I’ve learned over 25 years of practicing Indiana bankruptcy law), is so you’ll stop wasting energy on “shame and blame” and get down to business.  You’ll move forward, I hope, with the decisions that will lead you towards that fresh financial start you need and deserve.

“Who” statistics:
Statistics published by the Administration Office of the United States Courts show that debtors who file personal bankruptcy represent all age groups, from under 20 years old to seniors, with the majority being in their 40’s. In my own 25-year long practice of Indiana bankruptcy law, I’ve helped tens of thousands of debtors, with many being older, some much older than 50.

“Why the problem” statistics:
Yahoo!Finance lists the “top 5 reasons people go bankrupt”:

  • Medical expenses
  • Job loss
  • Excess use of credit
  • Divorce or separation
  • Unexpected expenses, including theft, accidents, natural disasters

Actually, these same reasons account for many instances of small business bankruptcy in Indiana, I’ve found.

“Why the people” statistics: lists more top reasons people choose to file:

  • To help stop foreclosure
  • To prevent repossession of a car
  • To restore utilities or prevent shutoff
  • To provide student loan debt help
  • To stop wage garnishment
  • To deal with a lawsuit

Bankruptcy statistics are not the happiest of numbers, that’s for sure, although this year’s numbers are looking somewhat better than last years in the Southern Bankruptcy District of Indiana (in which I, along with my Anderson, Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Columbus bankruptcy lawyer colleagues practice). Overall bankruptcy in Indiana decreased 14% this year, making us #7 in the nation in overall 2011 filings, #6 in the nation for filing  bankruptcy Chapter 7 in Indiana.

There may be solace in statistics in that you’re hardly alone.  The only numbers that matter, though, are your numbers, and the only thing that matters is turning negatives into positives – for you – in filing personal bankruptcy in Indiana!.


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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

1 Comment

  • Shelley says:

    Thank you, Mark, for wonderfully accurate statistics on bankruptcy. I have found that many people allow themselves to become even further in debt because they are embarrassed and afraid that they are alone in their financial troubles.