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College grads exploring bankruptcy options nationwide

New Jersey college graduates are finding it harder to pay their bills and some are actively seeking debt relief options. This problem is not limited to the Garden State, however, as a spike in bankruptcy filings from college graduates has occurred across the nation. A new study suggests that college graduates have had the largest increase in bankruptcy filings among any group.

While the results of the study may be alarming, it should not be surprising. With the sluggish economic recovery, many people are finding it harder and harder to keep afloat financially. While low-income individuals still make up the largest share of the population seeking debt relief, others who had well-paying jobs — and some of whom owned more than one home — are seeking protection as well.

The traditional picture of who is seeking bankruptcy protection is changing. More than 70 percent of those filing are not college graduates, and more than 50 percent of those who file earn less than $40,000 per year. But for those who earn more than $60,000, filings have increased by more than 66 percent. Filings for Asian Americans have doubled, and Hispanic filings have increased by more than 33 percent.

As long as the U.S. economy remains stagnant, debt relief will be a part of life for many individuals. For New Jersey residents needing to explore debt relief options, consultation with an experienced attorney may be the best first step. The laws and procedures associated with the various types of bankruptcy can be complex. By working with an attorney, individuals have an opportunity to explore their options and make the best decision regarding their financial future.

Source: KPLU, “College grads driving upward spike in bankruptcy filings,” Vanessa Romo, Sep 27, 2011

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