Sean Engelking was pretty confident of his future when he arrived in New York in 2008 to pursue a career in banking. He had just taken an internship after graduating with a degree in economics.
Engelking’s internship ended abruptly soon after moving to the New York. He then got a job working for software firm BizTech, but was laid off several months later. Still out of work and collecting unemployment, he can no longer afford the payments on his student loans. Recently, he paid a visit to a bankruptcy lawyer to weigh his options.
Unemployment in the city hit 10.3% in August and with the economy still murky, bankruptcy has become a reality for many New Yorkers who never considered it before. “Bankruptcy used to be for people on the fringe,” said Manhattan consumer bankruptcy lawyer David Shaev, who advised Engelking.
“Now it’s for people who had good jobs who have lost them,” Shaev said. “We have more middle-class people who are saying, ‘I can’t believe I am in this situation.’ ”
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