Bankruptcy Filings Dropped Nationwide in the First Half of 2012
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Bankruptcy Filings Dropped Nationwide in the First Half of 2012

August 30, 2012

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The number of people filing bankruptcy nationwide fell by a substantial margin in the first six months of 2012, according to a recent report from the Boston Herald.

The report says that total bankruptcy filings across the country amounted to 627,000 in the first half of 2012, which is a significant drop of 13.5% from the 725,000 filings that occurred during the same period in 2011.

The figures reveal the dramatic shift in consumer behavior during the past few years, as Americans have grown more reluctant to make large purchases on credit.

According to Steve Tremble, a credit counselor in Massachusetts, the economic downturn “forced many Americans to exert a much greater degree of fiscal discipline, and we’re beginning to see that paying off with lower bankruptcy rates.”

Of course, the presence 627,000 filings in the first half of 2012 suggests that the annual figure will once again top one million filings, which reveals just how important bankruptcy has become as a form of debt relief.

In Tremble’s words, the reality of the modern economy means that “a great deal of individuals and families are struggling under the weight of insurmountable debts, and for many of them, bankruptcy remains their best option.”

Indeed, as long the modern financial system remains in place, even the most responsible American may find themselves unable to repay large loads of debt.

Take, for example, Massachusetts, which also experienced a drop in its number of bankruptcy filings, mirroring the national trend. In Massachusetts, 9,118 people filed for bankruptcy in the first six months of 2012, which means that 2.79 out of every 1,000 people sought bankruptcy relief.

In 2010, to offer a contrast, 3.52 out of every 1,000 people filed for bankruptcy help. Sources say, however, that the current rate of bankruptcy filings in Massachusetts remains at a historically high level, which means that consumers are still having a difficult time escaping the shackles of debt.

So, as the bankruptcy rate continues to drop, consumers should remember that the rate remains at a relatively high level. And if they are compelled to seek bankruptcy protection, they’re certainly not alone.


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