People are sometimes a bit leery of filing for bankruptcy because they think that they’re the only one doing it. It makes it feel like some sort of personal failure. They may know that they can run all the numbers and see that bankruptcy would seriously help them, but they’re still hesitant to take that next step.
A few things are happening here, and we’ve already talked about how bankruptcy usually isn’t your fault, but it’s important to note that you’re also not alone. In 2019, for instance, there were 774,940 bankruptcy filings in the United States. In 2020, there were 544,463. Every year, more than half a million people tend to file for bankruptcy. And this even fluctuates, with high points over two million.
Why does it feel like you’re alone?
It’s one thing to look at these numbers and understand that half a million people are going to file bankruptcy with you this year, but it’s another to actually submit your filing. You may still feel like you’re the only one who’s going through this, and that can make you wonder where all these other individuals are.
The thing to remember is that people often don’t talk about it. You may know people who are filing for bankruptcy, but they’re not going to bring it up in casual conversation. They may be concerned about appearing successful, so they won’t want to tell you. They may think that financial concerns are simply none of your business. A lot of people like to keep their money situation private, so you just don’t get the level of exposure to bankruptcy to show you how common it really is.
Additionally, If you do hear about a bankruptcy filing, that may be because it’s a major business in your area. You could see the reports in the local newspaper or on social media. But the majority of bankruptcy filings are personal, and most of those aren’t going to generate the same sort of media attention. So you’ll see the small minority of filings that come from businesses and get a false sense of just how often this takes place on the whole.
Exploring your options
Bankruptcy can be a very useful financial tool if debt gets to be too much, so it can be wise to explore all the options at your disposal.