2010 Annual Consumer Bankruptcy Demographics Report: A Five Year Perspective of the American Debtor

Institute for Financial Literacy, September 2011

22 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2011

Date Written: September 1, 2011


In 2007, the Institute for Financial Literacy released its first Annual Consumer Bankruptcy Demographics Report. These reports have looked at the demographic profile of American debtors and noted any shifts in data from one year to the next. Since the first report, which was prompted by the passage of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), the United States has seen significant economic and political changes. The country has entered and exited the Great Recession of 2008, seen a change in the political and economic landscape in Washington D.C., and watched as several major pieces of consumer/financial legislation have passed. The question naturally arises, what impact if any has this had on the face of the American debtor? As the world has transformed so dramatically in five years, does the individual who filed for bankruptcy in 2006 look the same as the individual who filed last year?

This year’s Annual Consumer Bankruptcy Demographics Report is therefore not just presenting the 2010 demographic information, but is a comparative of the data collected since 2006. While the data presented in this report does not lend itself to drawing final conclusions about any topic or issue, the 2010 report does give us the opportunity perhaps to get a better perspective by seeing several years presented together. From here we can begin to see what demographic changes may be attributable to the passage of BAPCPA, the recession, and the shifts in the political and legislative environment.

Keywords: consumer bankruptcy, bankruptcy, Great Recession, recession, unemployment, bankrupt, consumer

Suggested Citation

Linfield, Leslie E., 2010 Annual Consumer Bankruptcy Demographics Report: A Five Year Perspective of the American Debtor (September 1, 2011). Institute for Financial Literacy, September 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1925006

Leslie E. Linfield (Contact Author)

Institute for Financial Literacy ( email )

260 Western Ave., Suite 1
Sourth Portland, ME 04106
United States

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