The plain truth of the matter is that women are more likely to file bankruptcy than men. Why? First, women still earn less than their male counterparts at all levels. Even a small difference in income can make the difference when it comes to people on the brink of filing for bankruptcy. Second, many women are single parents and their ex-partners do not pay sufficient child support or don’t pay it regularly and timely. Even women in the “middle class” can find it difficult to pay rent and utilities, transportation costs, child care expenses, and the costs of food and clothing when child support payments are spotty at best. Also, these women, being in the so-called “middle class” are often excluded from public assistance such as food stamps, or child-care subsidies, because they make too much money. Additionally, more and more companies are shifting costs of health care on to their employees. One serious illness can quickly drive a single mother to the bankruptcy court. Finally, despite the fact that many single mothers are living fragile financial existences, those credit card companies aggressively market their products at them. So add in readily available credit card debt and you have the recipe for a bankruptcy.
Unless and until our society starts ensuring equal pay for women and that domestic support obligations are quickly and strictly enforced, women will be more likely to file bankruptcy than men. If you are a woman feeling the crunch of your finances and being chased by debt collectors, call us to help. We will explore your options with you — it may mean filing bankruptcy but it may not. Whatever you do, know and fight for all your legal rights.