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People throughout the country have turned to bankruptcy for relief from financial stress. The residents of Southern Florida are no exception. Compared to many parts of the country in fact, they have found themselves in a much worse position. This is in large part due to the bottom dropping out of the Florida real estate market.

The number of bankruptcy filings recorded last month increased from January 2012. Up a total of 16,437, from the previous month’s number of filings, 87,981, this is a 19 percent rate increase. According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, the total number of bankruptcy filings that were recording in February 2012, was 104,418.

While for many, the increase may seem to be a big one, the overall number of filings in February 2012, is actually down compared to the same time last year. In February of 2011, a total of 109,565 filings were recorded.

There are of course many reasons that a consumer ultimately decides to seek debt relief via a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. According to the Executive Director of ABI, the recent filings can be attributed to the same thing that previous filings were-the state of the real estate market and unemployment.

Each person’s situation is different. Because of that, anyone who is facing financial difficulties might benefit from consulting with a bankruptcy attorney. Sometimes filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best way to go. After learning the specifics of the situation however, he or she will likely be able to provide potential options.

Source: Collections & Credit Risk, “Total U.S. Bankruptcies Spike In February,” March 13, 2012