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Consumer Bankruptcy Filings on the Rise

July 31, 2009
Consumers filed 675,351 bankruptcy filings in the first half of 2009, an increase of 36.5
percent from a year ago according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). Samuel J.
Gerdano, Executive Director of the ABI, expects new bankruptcy filings during 2009 to
exceed 1.4 million. That would be a substantial increase over the 1.06 million in 2008 and
801,840 during 2007.
“As unemployment, foreclosures rates and health care costs continue to rise, more
consumers are turning to bankruptcy as a last financial resort,” Gerdano stated in a news
release. Other bankruptcy experts agree with Gerdano’s assessment. In a story published
by the Washington Post in 2008, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren said, "The rise in
bankruptcies is not about something that happened last week or last month. It’s about the
fundamentals. It’s about declining wages, rising costs, inadequate health insurance, job
instability. More hardworking middle-class families simply can’t make it in this economy,
and it’s only getting worse."
When you are at the end of your rope, bankruptcy is a safety net. The federal bankruptcy
law provides powerful tools to forge a fresh start and a new financial future for your
family. Bankruptcy can protect the things that matter most to you like your home, auto,
and retirement accounts, while restructuring or eliminating your debt. No one wants to file
a bankruptcy, but if you are faced with serious financial difficulties, your best course of
action is to explore your financial options. A qualified bankruptcy attorney can explain
your options and help you decide the best choice for your family.



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