anguishWe love to talk about bankruptcy when major corporations file for it. Talking about such events becomes a part of our daily discussion or gossip on economics. However, when ordinary citizens of the country are affected by bankruptcy, people tend to keep their mouths shut. It is almost as if bankruptcy is a taboo subject that no one should ever talk about. Most people feel pity or empathy for those who go through bankruptcy, but there aren’t enough people who are actively helping bankrupt individuals overcome this extremely challenging financial difficulty. This is a reason why more and more people are having their lives destroyed by predatory creditors who systematically force naive debtors into bankruptcy.

It is common knowledge that our economy has spent the better part of the last decade trying to move past enormous financial obstacles. It would not be too wrong to state that the economy is in a horrendous state and has been in one for quite some time now. Americans are struggling to survive in a credit-based economy which is characterized by high unemployment rates, increased number of foreclosures, growing debts, and falling wages and benefits. All of these have combined to turn our economy into a hotchpotch.

This is the reason why the current statistics on bankruptcy are simply appalling. In fact, these stats are far worse and shocking than most people realize.

The numbers are so surprising that it could force an individual to lose faith in the American credit system.

Then again, surviving without credit in this economy is not much of an option.

In a society where lifestyle is defined by material wealth and possessions, Americans are finding it extremely difficult to be less reliant on credit. Perhaps taking a look at these four shocking statistics on bankruptcy will change the way you think about loans.

30% Increase

In the most recent financial report available, statisticians have revealed that personal bankruptcy filings have shot up by 30%. This is a remarkable statistic, given the fact that the bankruptcy filings were down by 12% from last year during the first quarter of 2015. This just goes to show you how volatile the economy really is. Just when you think that everything is going great for you financially, you can take a wrong turn or fall into the trap of a conniving creditor. Once you do that, your life will be turned upside down. This is exactly what so many people in the country have experienced during the course of this year, which is why the statistics are so shocking.

According to expert analysts, falling home values, a spike in overall living expenses, and rising debt are the primary causes of the sharp increase in the rate of personal bankruptcy filing. Family budgets are being pushed to the brink, and people are not in a position to do anything about it. Our economy currently comprises of countless families that are financially stranded. Bankruptcy is no longer a choice for these people. It has become their unavoidable fate.

1 in Every 70 Households go Bankrupt

As mentioned before, the families in America are in dire distress, in terms of finance. This is the reason why 1 in every 70 households files for bankruptcy. Given the average size of the communities in America, this means that you or someone that you are acquainted with has filed for bankruptcy in the recent past. It serves as a harsh reminder of the fact that bankrupt individuals are no different from ordinary citizens. Fate led them to malicious creditors. Hence, they are now embracing life after bankruptcy unwillingly. The U.S. economy is as unforgiving as any other. It is taking a toll on the entire population, regardless of age, gender, and ethnicity.

Expenses Exceed Earnings in 43% of American Families

Part of the reason why the economy is in such deep trouble is because of the perception of life among the common masses. Being a family is no longer about watching television together, going to the games, or having a warm dinner on Christmas Eve. Being a family now is all about maintaining a certain image in society. Too many Americans are getting buried in debt simply because they cannot afford to pay off. Some of them are able to get away with it by resorting to debt relief programs. However, the others are left to stand in line for bankruptcy. Did you know that the average American family has about $16,000 in credit card debt alone?

Throw mortgage debt, student loans, and others debts into the mix, and you get an enormous figure that simply cannot be managed. It has almost become a habit for American families to spend more than they earn (usually out of necessity). This habit is leading to the downfall of the current economy and increasing the number of bankruptcy cases every single day.

Bankruptcy Affects Highly Educated Individuals

A college or graduate degree cannot keep you safe from bankruptcy. The idea that bankruptcy only affects individuals who are not “learned” and who are short of knowledge is a complete misconception. Bankruptcy can affect individuals from all walks of life. No one has immunity in these tough economic times. Even though people with no college degrees tend to file bankruptcy at the highest rate, it is very common for individuals with college and even graduate degrees to file for bankruptcy. According to statistics revealed by the Institute of Financial Literacy, 12% of filers of bankruptcy possess a bachelor’s degree. What’s more shocking is that more than 5% of filers boast a graduate degree.

These statistics must have been really hard for you to digest. But there is good news. Contrary to popular belief, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Going bankrupt is not the end of the world. A person can always start over new and redesign his or her financial goals. Opportunities are there to be seized, even after bankruptcy.