It happens every tax season. With many more people suddenly able to pay a lawyer, the number of bankruptcy filings jumps way up in March, stays high in April, then declines.
March 2, 2018
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Tags: Bankruptcy, Technology
Organizations mentioned/involved: Community Legal Aid (Central Northeast Ohio), Upsolve
For the past year, I’ve traveled the country trying to understand why bankruptcy often fails those it’s supposed to help. I analyzed millions of filings and interviewed dozens of judges, lawyers and people struggling with debt. The answer turns out to be simple: People are too broke to go bankrupt. Filing costs money, as does hiring an attorney, which is the best way to make sure you actually get debt relief.
Scores of people considering bankruptcy told me the same thing again and again: If they had $1,000 to pay an attorney, then they probably wouldn’t need to file in the first place. “It’s funny how you buy bankruptcy,” marveled Trina Wright of Memphis.