There’s no debating the fact that 2020 has been a very difficult year for most Americans. Although there have been numerous social and political problems, to be sure, the most far-reaching hardship was brought by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Covid-19 shut down much of the country for nearly two months, forcing millions of people out of work and others struggling to make ends meet. And while people in every state have been impacted, Indiana residents appear to be among the least equipped to absorb the financial consequences of the pandemic.
This is according to a state-by-state ranking of personal bankruptcy filings between March and July of 2020 – what the study’s authors refer to as Covid-19 bankruptcies. In the report, Indiana was ranked 4th in the nation, with at least 8,947 personal bankruptcy filings during that period. Our neighbors in Kentucky were ranked 6th, while Ohio and Illinois were 8th and 9th, respectively.
The last national economic crisis was the Great Recession that started in 2008. That, too, was marked by a major surge in job losses and a similar surge in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings. During the Coronavirus pandemic, bankruptcy filings have not risen as quickly as job losses, but that is likely due to the generous unemployment benefits the federal government had been offering. Those benefits ended in July, and a smaller package was just approved through presidential executive order. As such, the number of bankruptcy filings may climb even higher.
If you are struggling with unmanageable debt right now, you are certainly not alone. We are facing a public crisis unparalleled in most of our lifetimes. For this and many other reasons, please don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about asking for help. Instead, speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine if personal bankruptcy is the right debt-relief solution for you.