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Do irresponsible people use Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

There is often a stigma about those who use Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio. Others will assume that these people are financially irresponsible and that this mindset led to their troubles. Is there any truth to this?

While it's certainly possible to find yourself needing to use bankruptcy because you were not responsible, the fact of the matter is that it's by no means fair to assume this is true in every case. The reality is that irresponsible behavior usually has very little to do with the filing.

Professionals who study the subject note that the real reason is typically one of the following:

-- The loss of a job. Without the income, things that were previously very affordable are now completely unaffordable. Someone may be able to stick it out on his or her savings for a while, but that can't last forever. In a tough job market, there may be no alternative.

-- A divorce. This strikes in two ways. First of all, the divorce process itself can be quite costly, bringing about all new bills. Also, the person may lose half of his or her income and other key assets. The result can be financial troubles that last for years.

-- The onset of a serious illness. Medical debt can dig a hole very quickly that someone may never be able to get out of. On top of that, being laid up in the hospital leads to a lack of income, even though many expenses do not go away.

These are the real reasons for bankruptcy in most cases. If you're thinking about filing for any of them, you need to know what legal steps to take.

Source: US News, "5 Bankruptcy Myths Debunked," Susan Johnson, accessed June 25, 2015

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