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Bankruptcy precursors: college and marriage?

The recession seems to have caused a dramatic shift in dynamics when it comes to the demographic of Americans filing for bankruptcy. According to a recent report, married couples and people with college educations make up a large chunk of those filing for bankruptcy.

The Institute for Financial Literacy recently released statistics highlighting the impact of the recession on each of the various social and professional groups in America. The data provided information that looked at various ages and ethnic groups as well. As of 2010, people holding bachelor's degrees comprised 14 percent of all bankruptcies filed. That is up from 11 percent in 2009. Bankruptcies among high school graduates fell by 9 percent, although they are still the largest segment of the populace to file bankruptcy, at 36 percent.

It seems one of the most common contributors to overwhelming debt is starting college without finishing. Basically, individuals begin efforts toward higher education but do not graduate, thereby receiving "all the burdens of school-related debt and none of the rewards of an actual degree," according to the study. In fact, this exact scenario described 29 percent of all filers in 2010. The irony of this fact is that the majority of student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Overall, the data confirms that bankruptcy filing has increased among married couples and those with college educations. In either case, the process of filing can be harrowing. The aid of legal counsel is often necessary for completing the tasks required to ensure a successful filing. Legal counsel experienced in bankruptcy law may be able to provide assistance and peace of mind for those who are struggling with overwhelming debt.

Source: The Inquisitr, "Bankruptcy Filings Increase Among College Educated, Marrieds," Kim Lacapria, Sept. 14, 2011

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