Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Debt Happens: Removing the Stigma of Bankruptcy

Q: Why is filing for bankruptcy seen as a bad thing?

The figures are in. On the list of the states that have the highest number of personal bankruptcy filings, Ohio comes in at #10-- with the top three highest number of filings per county being in Cuyahoga, Summit, and Mahonig counties, respectively.

Should the 20th percentile ranking be celebrated? Of course not. But it is also not necessarily cause for alarm or embarrassment. Filing for bankruptcy, which is beneficial in many instances, must be considered with an open mind.

Ohio was hit hard by the Great Recession of 2007-2009--so hard that many may feel the recession is ongoing. It currently has a higher unemployment rate and a lower median household income than the national average—two factors that may explain why 37,402 Ohioans filed for personal bankruptcy in a one year period ending March, 2016. But these figures need to be looked at in context with other information.

Notwithstanding the ranking, other reports are indicative of a trend toward recovery. An analysis by the Corporation for Enterprise Development indicated that bankruptcies in Ohio had fallen from “a post-recession high of 6 out of 1,000 people in 2010 to 3.5 out of 1,000 in 2014, the most recent year for which data was available.” Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?

Debt happens. And when it does, it’s important not to assume that a debt management plan is your only option or that a bankruptcy filing should be avoided at all costs. The truth is that either option may be right, but it is dependent upon the facts of your particular situation. What was right for your best friend or brother may be wrong for you.

Only a skilled bankruptcy attorney will know the best option for you and can answer all of your bankruptcy questions. A credit counselor is (generally) not an attorney and debt management plans do not resolve many kinds of debt. While it is a credit hit, a bankruptcy can often be the fastest way to a fresh start by wiping out more kinds of debt quickly and completely instead of paying it off over years, with credit counselor fees added, at payments that are often so high that it can be difficult to save any money for an emergency or retirement.

If you consider that a bankruptcy filing may be the fastest way to a fresh start and the best overall plan for reducing and eliminating the debt that is paralyzing you, that #10 ranking may not be that worrisome after all. It may mean that Ohioans are making the best choices they can under difficult circumstances.

Miami Valley Bankruptcy helps clients in Xenia, Fairborn, Jamestown, Beavercreek, and Dayton, Ohio help clients find the best debt relief solution for their specific circumstances. Contact us here or call 937-262-4789 for a free consultation.

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Miami Valley Bankruptcy, Brian Lusardi, Esq., assists clients with Bankruptcy matters including but not limited to: Common Myths, Cost of Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, The New Bankruptcy Law and Personal Bankruptcy in Xenia, Ohio, and the cities of: Wilberforce, Alpha, Spring Valley, Dayton, Bellbrook, Yellow Springs, Cedarville, Fairborn and Clifton; and the counties of Greene and Montgomery.

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