About 1.5 million people file bankruptcy per year. There are only 300 million people in the United States. The very rich don’t file, and the very poor don’t need to file because they usually never were able to get credit in the first place. The very young don’t file bankruptcy either. So, if you look at middle class Americans, and you consider that over a 40 year span, approximately 60 million people have filed or will file, you start to realize just how common bankruptcy is for the average, middle class American. I bet that if you walk down the street in the average middle class neighborhood in the U.S., inside every third or fourth home would be a person who has filed bankruptcy, or will file bankruptcy in the future, or who has a child or parent or sibling who has filed. It is very, very common.
Consider this fact – bankruptcy is more common than divorce. How many people do you know who have been divorced? You know more people that have filed bankruptcy, even if you are not aware of precisely who filed and when.