Over the last century, the number of bankruptcy filings in the United States had steadily increased. The majority of these bankruptcies, by a rather large number, are filed by consumers and not businesses. There are a variety of reasons why people file for bankruptcy. Whatever the reason you are filing for bankruptcy, it is a good idea to hire an attorney from the law firm of Tate Bywater in Fairfax to ensure your legal rights are protected.

Unfortunately, bankruptcy can happen to anyone. As a matter of fact, the average person who files for bankruptcy is somebody who is a lot like you. They can be single or married, old or young and male or female. Here are just a few reasons why you might want to file for bankruptcy.

Medical Debt

There is a large percentage of people who file bankruptcy due to medical debt. You could suffer a major injury or extended illness and the medical expenses not covered by insurance and the long period of time you miss work could put you deep in the hole.

Student Loans

Do some research and you will discover that the average college student who took out loans for school will be paying them off for the next 14 years. Student loans can be an incredible financial burden and they can take their toll over time. It is never a surprise when someone has to file for bankruptcy in part because of student loans.

Job Loss

This might come as a surprise, but very few people who file for bankruptcy are actually unemployed at the time of their filing. The majority of people who file for bankruptcy due to a job loss are working again or have some other forms of income. The reason they file for bankruptcy is because they lost their job due to an illness or other event. They may have found another job right away, but their income level dropped significantly.

Credit Card Debt

There is a common misconception that people who file for bankruptcy due to overextended credit misused their credit cards. Many people just assume that credit card debt occurs when people spend money buying things they cannot afford.

While this does happen, it is the exception and not the norm. What tends to happen quite often is that people wind up short on cash and are forced to buy necessities like food, utilities and gas for their car with their credit cards. They may even have to pay rent or make house payments with a credit card. But all too often this short-term fix balloons into an accumulation of debt over time.


It is not true that bankruptcy often leads to divorce. What is true is that divorce sometimes leads to bankruptcy. Divorce often causes financial woes for one or both parties. The financial impact of divorce can go far beyond attorney fees and initial divisions.

In addition, debt doesn’t go away when you get a divorce and one or both parties may be unable to cope with the debt payments after a divorce. There are also many divorcees who wind up using credit cards to keep up with paying their bills in a vain effort to stay afloat financially.

Mortgage Debt

To be sure, we have come a long way since the financial crisis we suffered in 2008. Nonetheless, there are still millions of homeowners who are in danger of having their homes foreclosed. Filing for bankruptcy is one way in which a homeowner can prevent foreclosure.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, call Tate Bywater and we can help.