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Bankruptcy Claims Rise In Asian American Sector

Portland, ME -- The Great Recession is noticeably shifting more “middle-class” Americans into bankruptcy, according to findings in the newly published 2009 Annual Consumer Bankruptcy Demographics Report. The report was released by the Institute for Financial Literacy, a non-profit financial counseling and education organization based in Portland, Maine.

“As in years past, the average American in financial distress and seeking credit counseling and financial education is a 35- 44 year old married Caucasian with a high school degree or some college who is working and earning less than $30,000 per year,” notes Leslie Linfield, Executive Director for the Institute for Financial Literacy. “What differentiates the 2009 data from previous years is the increase in bankruptcy filings among individuals earning $60,000 or more a year, those holding bachelors or graduate degrees, and adults ages 55 and older.”

Information on gender, age, ethnicity and other factors was gathered from more than 52,000 consumers seeking pre-bankruptcy credit counseling or post-bankruptcy debtor education courses throughout the United States. The Institute for Financial Literacy has published a Consumer Bankruptcy Demographics Report annually since 2005. The 2009 report provides insight into the effect of the recession on American debtors.

Demographic data also showed the following:

-   Unemployed Americans are filing for bankruptcy at higher rates than in years past.

-   Asian Americans are filing at double the rate they were in 2006.

-   Married Americans have seen an 8% increase in filings since 2006.

-   Individuals with a high school education as well as those with “some college” have been disproportionately impacted by the recession.

The full report has been published on the Social Science Research Network, and can be located at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1630501 or downloaded from the Institute for Financial Literacy’s website at http://www.financiallit.org/resources/2009Demographics.htm.

The Institute for Financial Literacy is a non-profit literacy organization. The Institute’s mission is to make effective financial literacy education available to everyone. The Institute accomplishes its mission by developing financial literacy education materials, publishing the National Standards in Adult Financial Literacy Education, maintaining the Library of Personal Finance and providing professional development and training through the Center for Financial Certifications. For more information about the Institute and its programs, please contact 207-221-3663 or visit www. FinancialLit.org.    



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