After the housing crisis in 2009, bankruptcy rates increased dramatically but they eventually stabilized around 2015. Since then, an average of 760,013 cases were filed throughout the following four years. Now that we’re ending a pandemic year, those numbers might fluctuate again, with shutdowns, layoffs, illness, and the lack of federally funded unemployment benefits all adding to the financial difficulties of many Americans.
If you’re struggling to meet debt payments during this unsure time, you’re not alone. Despite a global pandemic, many individuals and businesses are still finding permanent debt relief and long-term financial stability by filing for bankruptcy. At Behm Law Group, Ltd., we can provide legal services and support from start to finish if you choose to file for bankruptcy relief in Fairmont, MN and the surrounding area.
Bankruptcy statistics in the coming years will likely bear out some unusual numbers compared to the last five years, largely due to the effects of the coronavirus and the economic changes that come with every election. The first half of 2020 actually saw a decrease in bankruptcy cases by about 92,200 compared to the first half of 2019. This decrease was likely due to federal stimulus checks and federally backed unemployment benefits giving everyone a little financial boost. In addition to stimulus help, many loan providers and landlords were more lenient with late fees and monthly payments.
For the past ten years, filing statistics have been relatively the same when it comes to age, education, income, and the marital status of filers, along with stats regarding repeat filers. Generally speaking, the median age of bankruptcy filers is between 38 and 45 years old. However, people 55 and older make up about 20% of U.S. bankruptcy cases. Filers under 25 years old make up only 2% of cases.
About 20% of bankruptcy filers have a four-year bachelor’s degree or higher education level. 36% have a high school education, and 29% have some at least college education. In the coming years, the burden of increasing student loan debt may cause an increase in the bankruptcy filing rate for people with undergraduate and graduate degrees. About 60% of filers have incomes under $30,000 a year, while cases for those with incomes of $60,000 or more have recently increased by a few percentage points.
Most filers, about 64%, are married individuals, with the remaining 17% single, 15% divorced, and 3% widowed. Contrary to some popular beliefs about those living with debt, repeat filers only make up 8% of all bankruptcy cases. This is largely due to the BAPCPA changes to the bankruptcy code which passed in 2005.
As we finish the first year in a new decade with an election and a pandemic, we’ll have to wait and see how these conditions affect our economy and individuals’ finances. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy relief in Fairmont, MN or the surrounding region, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information today.