Last year — 2020 — was a rough year for a lot of people. Yet, as commercial bankruptcies rose, consumer bankruptcies actually went down.
However, many experts think that’s about to change. As people eventually run out of options to stay afloat, they expect bankruptcy filings to start rising.
For Black women, however, the trend has already shifted
A new report from Upsolve indicates that Black people are already disproportionately represented in new bankruptcy filings — and Black women especially so.
Why? It generally has to do with a number of economic factors, including that:
- Women tend to hold the majority of low-paying jobs in the first place, and women of color are particularly likely to work in industries that are poorly paid, like the food service industry.
- Black women (and women in general) are less likely to be able to transition to remote work because of the nature of their jobs, which was a saving grace for people in other industries or higher-paying jobs.
- Problems with accessing child care in 2020 has forced a lot of women to sacrifice their jobs to stay home with their children.
- Income gaps and “wealth” gaps between Black people and people of other races are well-documented, which means that Black women generally have fewer resources to pull on when there are financial problems.
Most people will put off filing for bankruptcy far too long — after they’ve already pawned everything they have of value, borrowed what they could and put off important repairs to their homes and vehicles. Many will even skip necessary medical treatment first.
That’s not how the system is supposed to work. Bankruptcy was designed to keep people from suffering unnecessarily in difficult times. If you’re unsure about your options, it’s time to talk to an attorney.