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Confessions of a bankruptcy attorney: What people get wrong about bankruptcy

One unplanned event can sometimes send people and families on a path to bankruptcy.

“People don’t have any room for error,” says Patrick Cordero, a consumer bankruptcy attorney in Miami. “Most people who file bankruptcy don’t want to file bankruptcy. They’d rather be working, paying everything on time and maintaining a livelihood that can sustain their family.”

The Federal Reserve reported in 2016 that 46% of U.S. families said they would have trouble paying emergency expenses of $400. And a 2015 MagnifyMoney survey found 56.3% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account.

“Sometimes it can just be a simple emergency room visit that just makes everything tumble down,” says Jenny Doling, a bankruptcy attorney in Palm Desert, Calif., and state chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) for central California.

Doling and Cordero are among three attorneys who shared 5 myths about filing bankruptcy.

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