How common is bankruptcy?

Dealing with debt and financial issues can feel very isolating. You might feel like the only person struggling as you try to escape the pressures of debt.

This isolation can make it seem like debt is not a common issue, or that bankruptcy is not a common solution. Is that true?

What do the statistics say?

Bankruptcy is more common than many people might believe. However, financial issues are intensely private matters.

It is rare for people to publicly discuss their financial hardship, much less their decision to file bankruptcy. Seeking debt relief through bankruptcy is not a failure – unfortunately, many people still believe that stigma and myth about bankruptcy. This likely contributes to the thought that bankruptcy itself is also rare.

The number of bankruptcy filings varies each year. Even so, according to the United States Courts, there were:

  • 399,269 personal bankruptcies in 2021
  • 522,808 personal bankruptcies in 2020
  • 752,160 personal bankruptcies in 2019

The reports show that the number of personal bankruptcies has slowly decreased over the last few years, but there is still a significant number of filings each year. The numbers above show just how common it is to file bankruptcy.

Remember: Anyone can face financial hardships

Additionally, it is critical to note that there is not just one kind of person who might struggle with debt. There is not just one type of person who files bankruptcy either. Debt can come upon anyone and arise from a number of challenges, including:

  • Medical emergencies that lead to expensive bills
  • Job loss and loss of income
  • Changes to the economy

It is not always possible to plan for these events that could have serious financial impacts. Therefore, it is not uncommon for individuals to end up struggling with serious debt. This is why there is a wide range of people who file bankruptcy every year.

Bankruptcy is a valid – and common – strategy to obtain relief from debt. If you have questions about how bankruptcy can help, you should consider speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.