Bankruptcy Filings Continue to Fall in the U.S.
Every week there is a new sign of the strength of the U.S. economy. Unemployment has fallen below 4%. Wages continue to rise. And the stock market has continued to rebound.
Now we have another positive piece of news: bankruptcy filings have fallen in May 2018, the latest month for which statistics are available. This evidence bodes well for consumers, who continue to take out debt.
New Low Filings
According to statistics, only 67,307 new bankruptcy cases were filed in May 2018. This compares favorably to April 2018, in which 69,760 cases were filed. It is also a decline from a year ago, May 2017, when 69,732 new bankruptcy cases were opened.
These trends are welcome news to consumers, since they indicate that the strong labor market has allowed debtors to maintain their current debt load. According to a report on NBC News, consumers racked up another $63 billion in debt, for a total debt haul of $13.21 trillion—an astounding number—so the strong economy can hopefully keep on rolling a little while longer.
Not Everything is Sunny
Even in good times, tragedy can strike, leaving some people in mountains of debt. Medical emergencies and job loss occurs in even a strong economy, either of which can leave you reeling. Signs are everywhere that some consumers are struggling. For example, the NBC News report mentioned that the delinquency rate for retail credit cards has continued to inch up this year. Since many of these card holders are subprime borrowers, they might be the first to feel the pinch of unsustainable debt loads.
If you find you cannot make ends meet, then you should consider your options. You might try to work out a debt management plan with a non-profit credit counselor, or you might negotiate a payment plan on your own with your creditors. Some creditors might temporarily suspend payments to give you a chance to get back on your feet.
You should also seriously consider filing for bankruptcy. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can easily wipe out unsecured debts, such as:
- Credit card debt
- Medical debt
- Personal loans
- Some court judgments (but not child support or alimony)
A Chapter 7 only takes a few months to complete from start to finish, leaving you with more money to spend on essentials like rent or your mortgage. Even better, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing triggers an automatic stay, which stops in its tracks any collection action against you, such as a car repossession or a home foreclosure.
Feeling Financial Stress? Meet with a Bankruptcy Attorney in South Florida
Sleeplessness, anxiety, and fear—these are common symptoms that you are suffering from financial stress. At Nowack & Olson, our South Florida bankruptcy lawyers have helped countless clients wipe the slate clean and start over. By scheduling a free consultation with us, we will review your financial situation and offer our advice about the best way to dig your way out of debt. If bankruptcy is in the cards for you, we can file the necessary paperwork and shepherd you through the process. Please call 888-813-4737.