Listen up Las Vegas…. across the nation, consumer bankruptcy filings have increased 14% from the same period one year ago. Over 770,000 consumers have filed bankruptcy during the first six months of 2010 – a rate of one in 150 households, according to data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center. The American Bankruptcy Institutes estimates that more than 1.6 million bankruptcy cases will be filed during 2010, the largest total since Congress enacted bankruptcy reform legislation in 2005.
Nevada is currently the state with the highest consumer bankruptcy rate followed by Georgia, California, Utah, and Tennessee. The lowest bankruptcy rates are in Alaska, the District of Columbia, and South Carolina, which have filing rates less than 40% of the national average. The national statistics also reveal that bankruptcy filers are choosing Chapter 7 (liquidation) over Chapter 13 (repayment plan). Only 27% of May 2010 consumer bankruptcy cases were filed under Chapter 13 cases, despite the attempt by Congress to encourage more Chapter 13 filings rather than Chapter 7. However, this chapter preference varies from state to state. Louisiana debtors filed Chapter 13 a whopping 61% of the time, but debtors in Iowa, New Mexico, and South Dakota all chose Chapter 13 less than 10% of the time.
The total number of bankruptcy cases has risen each year since 2005 when more than two million cases were filed. Many of these bankruptcy cases are husband and wife filings, also called joint filings. Researchers estimate that nearly one-third of all bankruptcy cases are joint husband and wife filings.
If you are in financial distress, you are not alone! The federal bankruptcy laws are meant to relieve the honest but unfortunate debtor of the stress of overwhelming debt. The bankruptcy process works and can provide you and your family with real relief. Don’t live your life in a debt prison. Free yourself through the power of the federal bankruptcy laws.