Thursday, January 28, 2016

Experts Expect Higher Bankruptcy Filings as Economy Improves

How do economic trends impact the rate of consumer bankruptcy filings?

While the the American economy continues to show signs of improvement since the Great Recession, some experts believe there will be an an upsurge in filings over the next several months. This prediction is contrary to data that shows that filings in Ohio are down as a whole. More specifically, in the Southern District of Ohio filings were down four percent in 2015, and a whopping 46 percent since 2009.

Why do bankruptcy filings rise when the economy is improving?

According to bankruptcy analysts, a strengthening economy can entice debtors to take greater risks, including pursuing personal bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. One certified bankruptcy analyst recently recently told the the Dayton Daily News, that when the economy is doing better, there are more bankruptcies.

One possible reason for this is that people in better economies tend to be more optimistic about their earnings, so they leverage future earnings by incurring credit debt.

In other words, when bankruptcies are on the rise, consumers have more credit, take more risk, and more go bankrupt.”

Nationwide, trends are showing a “deceleration” in the number of bankruptcy filings, and national averages reveal a 42 percent decline since 2009. In 2015, there were 860,182 bankruptcy petitions filed nationally, a number which has declined just 20 percent since the year before. However, national data also reveals that nearly 62 percent of Americans have no cash reserves on hand in the event of an emergency, and the majority of households are continuing to live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Overall, analysts believe the number of filings will stabilize in 2015, and begin to rise in 2016 and beyond – especially considering the lending trends allowing for easier access to credit.

If you are considering a personal bankruptcy and would like to discuss your options, should you consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney. 

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