I get asked all the time, “why do people file for bankruptcy?” It sounds like a pretty straightforward question that should allow for a pretty straightforward answer, right? Not so fast. Yes, there are some standard reasons for bankruptcy that would appear on most everyone’s “Top 5” list. When I get asked that question, the person asking is usually interested in hearing about what is going on in our community these days. That is why, in order to answer the question “why do people see a bankruptcy lawyer,” you have to take into account time and location. For example, if someone was asking that question in Akron, Ohio in 1980, I am pretty sure the # 1 answer would be “because of all the rubber factories closing.” If someone were curious about bankruptcy filings in 2001, you might get an answer involving the dot-com bubble that caused havoc on the economy back then. If someone had asked me that question in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2009, the #1 answer on the board (Family Feud style) would have been “real estate.”
Check out this post from my friend and colleague Jesse Berkowitz about bankruptcy!