Bankruptcy is a topic of which most Maryland residents are aware, but few fully understand bankruptcy until the issue is one of personal importance. Therefore, there are a number of misconceptions surrounding the matter, including the belief that an individual who is seeking consumer bankruptcy protection is doing so because he or she is financially irresponsible. In reality, there are a number of factors that can lead to the need to seek bankruptcy protection, many of which are outside of one’s control.

An example lies in medical debt, which can lead to a financial situation that often arises with little warning. Individuals who become ill or are seriously injured often find themselves in downward-spiralling situations, often including lost time from work or the loss of their jobs. Medical care is expensive, but it is also an expense that cannot be avoided. The bills quickly pile up, while, at the same time, one’s earning abilities are compromised.

Another example involves individuals who have gone through a divorce. The property division process can result in the loss of half of one’s assets, which can be a devastating blow. In addition, some will take on the responsibility for making spousal support or child support payments, which can create further financial strain. There is also the cost of legal services to consider, which can be significant for couples who have highly contentious or complicated divorces.

These are just two examples of events that can lead to serious financial trouble. There are a multitude of other factors that can leave one struggling to meet all of his or her financial obligations. Many of these matters are outside of one’s control and should never be considered as evidence of irresponsibility or a lack of financial competency. Consumer bankruptcy is an opportunity for a Maryland resident to regain control over his or her financial life, regardless of the reasons behind the need to file.  

Source: The Huffington Post, “Top 10 Reasons People Go Bankrupt”, March 24, 2015