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Like the rest of the country, the struggling economy has hit Miami hard. October bankruptcy filings are up nearly 19 percent over September’s filings in the area. One possible reason for the increase might be that after foreclosures had dropped after many lenders were accused of “robo-signing” and other questionable practices and stopped issuing many foreclosure notices. Now, foreclosures are picking up once again.

Many Miami families realize foreclosure may be inevitable, but many are finding by filing bankruptcy they can have another 6-8 months in their home, enough give families time to regroup and give children an opportunity to finish out the school year. In addition to preventing foreclosure, filing bankruptcy stops other collection efforts as well and it can give families the stress relief they need to figure out how to get back on their feet.

Miami-Dade County, the largest in South Florida, saw the biggest rise in bankruptcy filings, but Broward and Palm Beach had increased as well. Many hope to secure jobs that will allow them to pay more of their bills. Some manage to make arrangements with lenders that allow them to stay in their homes.

Whether a bankruptcy goes through, or manages to buy a debtor enough time to figure out how to get by without it, working with a bankruptcy attorney helps many South Floridians face the reality of their financial situation and get important credit counseling that will help them manage their money better. While the total number of bankruptcy filings is high, each person’s situation is different and each will need to proceed a bit differently in order to get the best result possible.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “More South Floridians file for bankruptcy,” Donna Gehrke-White, Nov. 1, 2012