Despite what most people think, considering the current economy, bankruptcy filings are actually down nationwide. One would think that with the high rate of foreclosures, job losses, sequestration and cut backs that more people would have a need to file bankruptcy. It seems that during an economic recession, Americans begin to feel so down and out that even seeking much needed bankruptcy assistance is just too burdensome.
However, one factor in the declining number of bankruptcy filings may stem back to the dramatic change in the bankruptcy law in 2005. In the few months and weeks leading up to the October 15, 2005 effective date of the current bankruptcy law, many people flocked to bankruptcy practitioners nationwide in fear that this new bankruptcy law would make it harder or impossible to file after it took effect. One of the notable changes in the new law set a time limitation of eight years between consecutive Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings. The old law only placed a limit of 6 years between consecutive chapter 7 bankruptcy filings.
I am fairly certain that many people who filed just before the law changed in October 2005 may not even have needed to file as badly as they assumed as the economy was pretty good back then. Since that time, we, as a country, have gone into an economic recession. Some of the people who filed on the eve of the change in the law have suffered through job losses, foreclosures and other economic hardships, but have been ineligible to seek bankruptcy help due to a previous filing.
We are now approaching the eight year anniversary mark of the new bankruptcy law this October. Many folks who filed out of fear of losing the right to file may be in need of assistance again, and this is alright. I believe that when folks realize that they are able to file again, we will see a rise in the numbers of bankruptcy filings nationwide. This is not a bad thing; it will be a very good thing for those who have been suffering through economic hardship over the last few years.
If you need financial assistance and are uncertain if you are eligible to file any form of bankruptcy, please contact our office nearest you to schedule a free consultation with one of our licensed attorneys to discuss what options you have at this time.
Amy K Tanner is a shareholder in several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She focuses primarily on consumer bankruptcy law in the Huntsville and Decatur offices.Read her full bio here.