15 May 2012

Bankruptcy filings rose sharply in the U.S. in February of 2012

The American Bankruptcy Institute reports that bankruptcy filings rose sharply in the U.S. in February of 2012, with California filing rising more than any other state. 

Although bankruptcy filings were down five percent nationally from February of 2012, they were still 19 percent higher than January 2012, according to the report released on March 7, 2012.  Business bankruptcy filings increased 3 percent, while personal bankruptcy filings went up by over 20 percent.

According to the report, 3.73 of every 1,000 Americans filed bankruptcy in February  In California, that number was 5.28 of every 1,000 residents.  The only states that had higher percentages were Tennesee, Nevada, Georgia and Alabama, respectively.  Our law office in Sacramento, CA noticed the spike in filings in February as well.

Although many reports suggest that both employment rates and home prices are steadily rising, a representative for the American Bankruptcy Institute stated in a press release that unemployment coupled with the stagnant housing market led to the increase.  There are real indications that our economy is improving, but these numbers prove that many Americans, particularly Californians, are still struggling to overcome their debt.  I believe the increase in filings also reflects how many debtors tried their hardest to avoid filing bankruptcy, but ultimately realized that in these times it is not a battle they could win.

As an Attorney I have also noticed that many people put off bankruptcy and then wish that they’d done it all along.  They spend their savings, borrow from their 401ks, lose their cars and homes, and have their wages attached.  They put off paying things that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy like student loans and fines trying to pay off their other bills, and then end up with penalties and interest that can double and even triple the original balance.

I respect that many people want to wait to file bankruptcy until there is no other option, but I also have seen firsthand how devastating it can be to realize that the payments and efforts put in ultimately were wasted.  I have seen how the banks refuse to work with their clients and frequently significantly raise interest rates, fees and penalties.  There is nothing wrong with exercising your legal right to file bankruptcy and take the first steps towards financial freedom.

If you are one of the many Californians who is considering filing bankruptcy, it is important to retain an Attorney with the experience and legal knowledge to help you obtain a successful discharge and a fresh financial start.  Please contact The Ranchod Law Group in Sacramento and San Francisco at 916-313-9069 or via email at info@california-bankruptcyattorney.com.


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