Continuing an upward trend since 2007, bankruptcy filings in Wisconsin continued to climb in 2010. In fact, for the last decade, the number of bankruptcies filed last reached a level only second to the number of filings in 2005.
In 2005, the number of bankruptcies spiked with the impending implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. The Wisconsin Law Journal quotes Bankruptcy Judge Margret Dee McGarity as saying, “The purpose of the Act was to make it harder to file bankruptcy and cut down on the number of bankruptcies filed.” So it makes sense that the number of filings would spike before an Act intended to make it more difficult to find debt relief takes effect.
After the Acts implementation, the number of bankruptcy filings in Wisconsin did decrease. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Court numbers, as reported by the Wisconsin Law Journal, the number of filings in both Bankruptcy Court districts in Wisconsin reached decade low numbers in 2007 – 9,947 filings in the Eastern District and 5,005 filings in the Western District. After 2007, however, filings in both districts began to increase, coinciding with a downturn in the economy.
According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts numbers, as reported by the Wisconsin Law Journal, in 2010 the Eastern District of Wisconsin had 20,687 bankruptcy filings and the Western District had 9,541 filings.
National trends show that the number of filings in Wisconsin fits the norm. The Wisconsin Law Journal reports that bankruptcy filings across the country in 2010 increased 13.8 percent over 2009.
But without the impending passage of restrictive legislation, what could explain the increase in filings?
While each situation is different, the economic downturn seems to have been a major factor. With the crash of the housing market, many families found themselves with upside-down mortgages and payments on houses that they could no longer afford, and many families found themselves with at least one spouse out-of-work. All of these occurrences can pressure a family economically.
Most people want to be able to pay their bills and keep their promise to pay back what is owed. Sometimes, however, forces outside of our control put us in difficult situations. Bankruptcy is available for those in difficult situations and will allow you to get out from under a difficult situation. Bankruptcy can help you keep your home, your car and help you get back on a path to economic prosperity.
Our resourceful hub, My Debt Advisors, offers insights on various aspects. Did you know, for instance, how bankruptcy interacts with taxes? Or the treatment of social security benefits during bankruptcy? It’s also crucial to be informed about how your citizenship status might be impacted by bankruptcy. By familiarizing yourself with these facets, you can make informed decisions for your financial future.For more specific guidance, especially if you’re in the Wisconsin area, consider visiting our Downtown Milwaukee office, where our experts are ready to provide personalized assistance.
If you are facing mounting bills, foreclosure or other financial difficulties, speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to discuss your situation.