As a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I tend to see more women in my office than men. This fits the national trend: across the US, women file bankruptcy more often.
From what I’ve seen, there are some key reasons:
Women are often the family caregivers, and sometimes they don’t have any help. I talk with a lot of single mothers and grandmothers who struggle every day to make ends meet.
Sometimes things happen that devastate these women’s fragile finances even more:
- Job loss
The job market is challenging enough, but especially for single mothers. Women who have children depending on them back home need employment at all times, just to make ends meet.
Divorce can and does affect both people’s finances, but women are often left with the biggest burden. A single mother who loses her house or car as part of a divorce will take longer to get a job, get out of debt, and move forward.
- No child support
When child support falls through, women are left with few options. The state has ways of trying to make someone pay, but in the meantime, a single mother may already be completely out of money.
Financial Abuse and Exploitation
Secondly, women can be easy victims of financial abuse. This is a type of domestic abuse where one partner steals from another or forces them to rack up debts.
I have seen this affect many more women than men. Their partners will use up their credit and then bolt, leaving the woman with no other choice but bankruptcy. In some cases they might even pressure or force the woman to take out loans in her own name.
(If you or someone you care about is the victim of financial abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or 1-800-799-7233.)
Shouldering the Marital Finances
Lastly, women often take on the burdens of the household. It’s not just single women in my office filing bankruptcy – it’s married women who are the first in their family to notice a problem and do something about it.
These women are strong, smart, capable people who want a better life for their family:
- They don’t want to be limited by their debt anymore
- They’re tired of the harassing phone calls from creditors
- They don’t want to lose their retirement or live out the rest of their lives in poverty
It makes sense, and it’s an honor for me to help them get back on the right track and help their husbands understand the bankruptcy process.
I’m always glad to see women take control of their finances, and I’m happy to assist in any way I can. Our staff includes single mothers and caregivers, so you can rest assured we understand the stress you’re feeling. We offer free reports, a free credit course, and a listening ear to help give women and their families a better future.
If you’re considering bankruptcy, give me at call at 901-327-2100 or contact me online to get started. The conversation is free.