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Bankruptcy in the Spotlight - Olympic Families Struggling with Finances

The Olympics give sports enthusiasts the opportunity to see the best athletes from around the world. Many have spent their entire lives training to get to this point, and their successes often prove to be very inspirational.

Even though only a select few can win a medal, every athlete has a story. This year, some of those stories may relate to many people throughout the United States. Some athletes had parents that were experiencing financial problems, making filing for bankruptcy necessary.

It might seem odd at first that such high-profile individuals could be suffering from financial hardships, but this once again shows that bankruptcy can impact anyone at any time. Whether it is a divorce, unexpected health problems or a job loss, many people simply do not have the resources to make it through these difficult times unscathed.

People still are uncomfortable with the stigma of filing for bankruptcy, and put it off until it is too late. However, this recession has hit many families very hard. The Federal Reserve recently examined the net worth of families from the years 2007 to 2010. During this time period, families saw a decrease in median net worth of 40 percent.

Yet, even despite this widespread decrease in financial resources, many individuals wait too long before considering bankruptcy. The financial problems become much worse, and some may even be faced with losing their home.

Filing for bankruptcy is not the end of the world. Many other people are going through the process, and have learned of the advantages that come with filing, including protection from creditor harassment. It may even lead to the ability to improve credit scores.

Source: The New York Times "Olympic Bankruptcies for Ordinary Families" Helaine Olen, August 8, 2012.

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