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The number of bankruptcy filings in Miami and South Florida continues to fall. It’s unclear, though, what is behind this drop in filings.

According to the Sun Sentinel newspaper, bankruptcy filings in South Florida fell for the third straight month when they dropped in May. This represents a significant shift; during the first few months of 2012, bankruptcy filings actually increased in the region, something that the Sun Sentinel quoted lawyers and economists as saying was a sign that the number of housing foreclosures in South Florida were ready to rise again.

In the South Florida region, only Palm Beach County saw the number of bankruptcy filings rise in May. During the month, 412 consumers filed for this financial protection. That number stood at 392 one month earlier.

In Broward County, 732 consumers sought bankruptcy protection, down from 750 during the prior month. And in Miami-Dade County, 1,293 consumers filed for bankruptcy protection in May, down from the 1,364 who did so in April.

Economists again are pointing to a possible link between bankruptcies and housing foreclosures. According to the Sun Sentinel story, bankruptcy filings and housing foreclosures usually follow the same trend. In other words, they both tend to rise and fall at the same time. However, this theory fails to take into account that while foreclosures dropped in Broward County in April, they rose in Palm Beach County.

Whatever the reason for the decrease in the number of bankruptcy filings in South Florida, consumers facing financial difficulties should be aware that they have that option.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Bankruptcy filings in South Florida fall for third month,” Marcia Heroux Pounds, June 2, 2012