Most people have a stereotype in mind when they think of someone who files for bankruptcy. They assume the person was a big spender with no self-control or perhaps had a gambling addiction. While credit card and gambling debt are real and common, they are not the biggest sources of bankruptcy.
The top causes are actually things you are likely not to have control over. Therefore, you need not feel shame over having to file. And even if credit card debt is your issue, taking control of your finances through bankruptcy is a brave and responsible action to take.
A majority of bankruptcy cases are due to medical bills. You or a family member may have had a medical emergency or may be suffering from a lifelong condition that requires frequent health care. While insurance is supposed to be helpful, it often is nowhere near enough in these situations. And necessary medical treatment is not something you can just cut from your budget.
Economic fluctuations can put your employment at risk. If you lose your job during a recession, you will probably have a hard time finding a new one. This can put you behind in daily bills and eat up your savings.
Divorce is very common and tends to be expensive. Not only do you have the costs that come with divorce but also the change in finances and lifestyle once it is over. Divorce also adds complexity to bankruptcy. There is much to consider, such as if you should file before, during or after the proceedings. Each timing has its pros and cons and ways in which it will affect your ex-spouse.
A combination of factors
It is also possible for these causes to be related, making you face more than one factor at once that contributes to bankruptcy. For example, an injury can result in you losing your job, and losing a job can put strain on your marriage.