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There is no single reason that residents of Florida decide to file for bankruptcy. The reasons behind the decision vary depending on each person’s specific circumstances. In addition to medical bills and consumer debt, more recently, job losses and the struggling housing market have played a major role.

The decision to file for bankruptcy is often preceded by a period of time when individuals are delinquent on consumer loans. Included in this category are loans such as auto loans, credit cards and home equity lines of credit. According to the American Bankers Association, overall, the number of delinquencies reported on these types of loans fell in the third quarter of 2011. It was the first time this past year that the number decreased.

The decrease was despite a slight increase in delinquencies in the areas of home equity lines of credit and credit cards. Defined as at least 30 days overdue, the number of delinquent payments to home-equity credit lines rose from 1.91 percent in the second quarter to 1.93 percent. Likewise delinquent credit card payments rose .03 percent from the previous quarter to 3.25 percent.

At the other end of the spectrum, the number of late payments on loans arranged via a third party, such as car loans, decreased. In the second quarter the number was 2.89 percent. By the end of September 2011, it had dropped to 2.6 percent.

The improvement is likely in part due to housing and job markets that appear to be recovering a bit. It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue. Even if it does, there will still be some people for whom bankruptcy is the best option. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help determine the best way to proceed.

Source: Collections & Credit Risk, “Consumer Loan Delinquencies Down In Q3,” Jan. 5, 2011