The bankruptcy numbers in America are troubling. According to statistics from the United States Courts, 767,721 people filed for consumer bankruptcy in 2017. If you are experiencing financial troubles, it is clear you are not alone.
Know that you should never feel alone or ashamed about declaring bankruptcy. To help you make your choice, here are five of the most common causes of consumer bankruptcy in the United States:
1. Medical expenses
A sudden illness or injury not only affects your physical wellbeing, it can shatter your finances, too. If your hospital bills are racking up, you may have no way to pay them off. Medical bills may lead you into bankruptcy even if you have health insurance.
2. Job loss
Losing your job is hard, whether it is due to termination, a layoff or even resignation. If you are lucky enough to get a severance package or another job offer, you may be able to weather the storm. However, if you are sideswiped by a job loss, you may suffer financially.
Ending your marriage often creates significant financial stress. If you are leaving your spouse, you may need to pay legal fees, asset division, alimony or child support. You also need to afford more expenses on your own income. If you fail to pay child support or alimony, you may face wage garnishment.
4. Excess or poor use of credit
Credit cards and loans are useful tools and can help you out if you use them correctly. Unfortunately, you may end up spiraling out of control when it comes to credit. While irresponsibility may be one of the reasons for credit debt, it can also build up because of any income reduction or expense increase.
Losing your home may be one of your worst fears. If you are having a hard time making your mortgage payments and are getting threatened with foreclosure, bankruptcy may be one of the only ways you can keep your home.