Survey paints portrait of Seoul bankruptcies
The foundation, a research institute on welfare policies affiliated with the Seoul city government, released a report Monday after surveying 1,108 Seoulites who filed for bankruptcy through the institute last year. They represented around 11 percent of the total number of people who filed for bankruptcy in Seoul last year, which was 10,683.
One of the institute’s striking findings was that 44.5 percent of the respondents said they filed for bankruptcy because they had not a way to afford their daily living costs.
“Based on our preliminary analysis, it seems that many of these people were recipients of basic welfare benefits and were already struggling to cover daily living costs,” the institute said in its report. "On top of this situation, they had taken out loans here and there, and just couldn’t find ways to pay them back."
Korea provides so-called basic livelihood subsidies to people whose incomes are less than 30 percent of the median income.
In the survey, 22 percent of respondents said they declared bankruptcy because of failed businesses, while 8.6 percent said they were scammed out of money.
Among the respondents, 38.8 percent were in their 60s, followed by 26.4 percent in their 50s and 15.4 percent in their 70s.
Men accounted for 57.4 percent and women 42.6 percent.
As for the money the respondents owed, 23.9 percent said they owed between 50 million won ($44,580) to 100 million won; 19.2 percent said they owed between 25 million won to 50 million won; 18 percent said they owed between 100 million won to 200 million won; and 9.5 percent said they owed over 400 million won.
Half of the respondents were living alone.
BY ESTHER CHUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]