Any consumer regardless of occupation can be driven to the point of bankruptcy if hit by the perfect financial storm. Unexpected medical expenses, overextended credit, income reduction and divorce continue to drive most bankruptcy filings. More bankruptcies are caused by these true financial hardships than by reckless or irresponsible spending, and bankruptcy filings tend to increase with a downturn in the economy. While there is no particular type of person or specific occupations that files for bankruptcy in New York, a greater diversity and number of people and professions are filing more now than ever.
According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, data from the United States Courts and polling from CNN and Gallop, on average across all bankruptcies, the characteristic petitioner is a 45 year old Caucasian homeowner who is married, employed full time with an annual household income under $30,000. The typical debt not including home mortgage is around $47,000. Most people report being employed or self-employed at the time of filing. Only about one in five petitioners are unemployed.
About one in five bankruptcy petitioners holds a bachelors, masters or doctoral degree. One in six petitioners have a high school education only while another one in three people filing for bankruptcy in New York report having completed some college education.
According to Harvard Business Schools’ Elizabeth Warren, only 25% of bankruptcies are male petitioners filing by themselves. 45% of bankruptcies are married couples filing jointly and the remaining 30% of bankruptcies are submitted by women filing alone. Overall, women are slightly more likely to file than men for bankruptcy in New York.
Baby boomers are going bankrupt more than any other age group now and are responsible for nearly half of all bankruptcy filings according to numbers from the US Courts. They continue to watch their debt to income ratios fall, their net worth erode, and their credit card debt increase. The disproportionate numbers of baby boomers going bankrupt is most certainly tied to the housing bust. This age group contributed to a significant number of foreclosures in New York recently as well.
The housing bubble also affected many investment professionals and a surprising rise in filings in my office is coming from these occupations as well. Many were hit hard by the recession, and are now stretched too thin financially or completely underwater on their investment properties.
According to CNN Money doctors and other medical professionals are also finding it harder and harder to stay afloat with changes in business and new governmental regulations. Private practice physicians are filing for bankruptcy more than ever claiming that decreased insurance reimbursements and rising drug costs among other factors are making it more difficult to keep their practices open.
And we have all heard about the increasing numbers of professional athletes and celebrities that are filing for bankruptcy these days. The truth is that given the right circumstances, or rather the wrong circumstances, just about anyone can find themselves in serious financial distress. New Yorkers of any occupation may need the financial relief that bankruptcy delivers.
In my office we help people from all walks of life and from various professions with their bankruptcies. MTA Transit Authority workers, NYC postal service employees, doctors, lawyers, and even bankers from JP Morgan Chase have come to us for bankruptcy representation. We see straightforward and complex cases, both long planned bankruptcies and cases that need to be filed in a hurry. We have seen almost every circumstance that could drive someone to bankruptcy in New York City, and understand that financial hardship can hit just about anyone regardless of their lifestyle, profession or tax bracket.
If you live in New York and are interested in a free bankruptcy consultation please call 212-244-2882. The Law Office of William Waldner only practices Bankruptcy Law and is always here to help.
If you are ready to find the financial relief you need, then get things moving quickly by mentioning this blog post when arranging a free consultation. Reference the promotional Code: OCC212 to receive the required 3 bureau credit report, and credit counseling course, both free with any signed retainer agreement.
This article is intended for educational purposes only. By reading this article no attorney-client relationship has been created.