Black Women Overrepresented in Bankruptcy Filings

Although men and women of all ages and races struggle with their finances, financial struggles often hit some harder than others. According to experts, Black women tend to be overrepresented in bankruptcy. This means that there is a disproportionately large number of Black women in need of financial help compared with their population size in the United States.

Black women face unique struggles

The workplace changed drastically during 2020, with many people in Virginia transitioning to remote work from home. However, this was only an option for approximately 20% of Black workers, leading to many being furloughed or laid off. Unemployment rates for Black women in particular increased dramatically in April 2020. A survey found that recent bankruptcy filings by Black women largely cite loss of income.

Experts point to structural racism that still exists in today’s working society. Problems such as income and wealth gaps create a situation in which Black women may be more vulnerable financially. This does not mean that these women are immediately rushing to bankruptcy, though. Before filing, many Black women first:

  • Cut back on necessities
  • Avoid necessary medical care
  • Sell or pawn personal possessions

While these actions might buy a little bit of time, they do nothing to actually heal the financial trauma that one might be experiencing. On the other hand, while bankruptcy might seem like a scary final option, it can actually help people Virginia address their debts. Successfully discharging debt during bankruptcy is often the help that people need to get their finances back on track.