For a time it seemed as though every report released regarding consumer bankruptcy filings in South Florida indicated continual increases. Due to a variety of factors tied to the poor economy, such as job loss, many Miami area residents were left with little choice to file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. With the improving economy however, the number of filings reported has decreased.
Statistics recently released by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court indicate that this is true in South Florida. While some counties, such as Miami-Dade, are not really decreasing, they are not increasing either. Other South Florida counties such as Broward and Palm Beach are improving however. The number of bankruptcy filings in Palm Beach was down 6 percent as compared to last year at this time, and Broward’s were down a whopping 21 percent.
While the decrease in some counties is likely due to an improving economy, not everyone in South Florida is feeling that improvement. There are still some residents who are unemployed, leading them to have problems paying bills such as mortgages. Those individuals may find that the home in which they live is in foreclosure and in an effort to stop that process, file for bankruptcy while they figure out how best to proceed. It is likely that some of the bankruptcies currently being filed are due to this.
While the economy appears to be on the upswing, it is important for residents of South Florida to realize that if they are facing financial problems, bankruptcy may be an option. A Miami area bankruptcy lawyer can help determine which, if any, chapter is best.
Source: Sun Sentinel, “Sign of better times: Bankruptcy filings plunge in Broward,” Donna Gehrke-White, March 3, 2013