As Chino consumer bankruptcy attorneys, we were interested to see an early report on the number of bankruptcies filed in May by individuals and married couples. The Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog reported June 2 that the number of personal bankruptcy filings fell in May, for the second month in a row. May saw 136,142 bankruptcy filings, which was down 6% from April. April also saw a decline from March's numbers, but previous filing numbers had been trending upward for at least a year, tracking the economic decline. The numbers come from the American Bankruptcy Institute, a trade group including consumer bankruptcy attorneys as well as accountants and other financial professionals.
Samuel Gerdano, the executive director of ABI, told the blog he didn't think the two-month downward trend reflected what bankruptcies will do overall in 2010. Gerdano said the overall trend is upward, in his opinion, and filings will continue to rise. The blog noted that despite the two-month respite, personal bankruptcies are still currently 9% higher than they were at this time last year, and 15% higher than they were in the first five months of 2009. And of course, Americans are still struggling with all the same problems that drive bankruptcies higher, including high unemployment and limited access to credit. Perhaps for those reasons, Gerdano predicted that personal filings could go as high as 1.6 million for all of 2010, which would top 2009's 1.4 million and set a new record for bankruptcy filings after the 2005 bankruptcy reform.
Our Lakewood personal bankruptcy lawyers continue to see these trends reflected in our own work helping individuals, couples and small businesses handle serious financial problems in the most advantageous way possible. It's no surprise that bankruptcies (not to mention foreclosures) would continue to be high as long as other signs of economic problems for real people -- not just Wall Street -- are present. We cannot explain the drop in the bankruptcy filing rate in recent months, but we suspect Gerdano is right that it's a temporary blip. And as the blog post points out, the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could push numbers even higher in the surrounding Gulf states, as owners of small fishing and tourist businesses lose their ability to make a living. Delays in that effect mean those numbers could jump later this year.
Howard Law PC represents Californians from all backgrounds and walks of life who are considering bankruptcy as a solution to persistent financial problems. In many cases, clients come to us reluctantly and with a sense of shame and failure. We urge our clients not to feel ashamed of pursuing a bankruptcy -- because when it's truly the best option in your situation, a bankruptcy can help you regain control of your personal finances. A bankruptcy is not a decision to be made lightly, which is why our San Juan Capistrano individual bankruptcy attorneys start each case by reviewing the client's financial situation and explaining all options. If you decide to file, we can stop harassment by debt collectors right away and enforce the automatic stay with a lawsuit, if necessary. We will also stand by you throughout the process, explaining every step and your obligations and options.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by your debt and you're considering filing for bankruptcy, Howard Law would like to help. To discuss your case at a free, confidential consultation, please call us toll-free at 10800-872-5925 or send us a message online.