In New South Wales last year, there were 8672 personal (non-business) bankruptcies. That’s 23 people every single day of the year in NSW alone. The nearest state to come anywhere close to that figure is Victoria with 4323 people declaring bankruptcy.


As you may expect, the next highest state for people declaring personal bankruptcy was Queensland and Australia wide there a total of nearly 26000.


These statistics provided by the Attorney-General’s office are staggering.


Looking at these statistics it’s easy to forget that there are human stories behind numbers.


With nearly 40% of all personal bankrupts coming from New South Wales, you have to wonder whether there is something in the water.


How many of these poor people, if they received the right advice, could have turned their situation around? Were these people given the opportunity to turn their situation around? The answer to these questions will always be a mystery.


With Australia arguably already in recession, it’s likely these figures will only increase.


For a person to declare bankruptcy, it goes without saying that they must have felt completely isolated and trapped with no-where to go financially. Bankruptcy still has the social stigma as it has always had and for this reason alone it should always be the last resort.  


Without exception, I have never spoken to anyone who thought that going bankrupt was the best thing they had ever done. The reason for this is that most people have a sense of pride and believe that walking away from a (financial) situation is un-Australian.


Of course bankruptcy is an appropriate situation for those who have exhausted all other options.


So how is it that there are so many people going bankrupt without properly considering their options? Could it be there is an interest group or organisation actively promoting bankruptcy before other reasonable options are considered?


People should be aware there are alternatives to bankruptcy and ways to get out of debt at an affordable and sustainable way. This said, the alternatives are not an easy way out and there is no quick fix. The alternatives take a lot of hard work and discipline, but if you are committed and willing there are ways to avoid bankruptcy.