In a decade with two recessions, two wars and skyrocketing unemployment, bankruptcy became a financial safety net for a record 13 million Americans.
It's no wonder that Time called it the decade from hell.
Between January 2000 and December 2009, 13,363,085 personal bankruptcy petitions were filed as Americans attempted to defy debt, stop foreclosure and get a fresh financial start.
A large percentage of those came in 2005, when a new bankruptcy law threatened to make it more difficult to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. More than 2 million bankruptcies were filed that year, as consumers rushed to beat the October deadline.
The decade total was an increase of nearly 29% over the bankruptcies filed in the 1990s.