People don’t like to talk about money, especially when they’re facing financial troubles and may need to file for bankruptcy. This is why those who are considering it often feel like they’re alone. They don’t know anyone else who has done this — or so they think — and that can take a toll.

The truth, though, is that you probably do know plenty of people who have declared bankruptcy. You’re not alone. It’s much more common than people realize just because it does not come up in conversation. That doesn’t mean it’s not happening. 

Half a million people per year go bankrupt

Every year, roughly half a million people file for bankruptcy in the United States. Here are the latest government statistics from the past few years:

  • 2016: 509,769
  • 2017: 489,011
  • 2018: 479,151
  • 2019: 479,043

With the recession in 2020 and many people out of work, it’s likely that these numbers will also be high when they are compiled at the end of the year. It will be interesting to see if the downward trend reverses or holds course. 

Either way, though, it is very clear that bankruptcy happens often. You’re talking about thousands of cases every single day. If you’re considering it, you should know that it’s a useful tactic that many people benefit from each year. 

What should you do next when your debts are overwhelming?

Bankruptcy protection is there for a reason. You’re entitled to make use of it. Many people who file for bankruptcy protection are doing so for the first time. If you are, make sure you know what steps to take and the legal rules that must be followed.