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Is it a Recession Yet? Bankruptcy, Foreclosure Records Broken Again


Once again the news is pretty bleak for many U.S. homeowners.

And whether or not you use the "R" word, things aren't getting any better.

More and more desperate individuals are finding they are the real people behind the news reports about the problems in the U.S. economy. Problems that make things look more and more like a recession. And more and more like the person they see in the mirror.

More Than Just Numbers

The news is bad enough for most people as they find themselves paying more for gas, more for groceries, more for just about everything they need to buy, as we previously reported.

But the news is even worse for those who find themselves at the end of their "financial rope," so to speak, as one of the:

  • 8.8 million Americans who owe more on their homes than what they're worth;
  • 234,000 homeowners whose houses are in some state of foreclosure;
  • 90,000 people who just filed for bankruptcy
  • 300,000 people who lost jobs in March.

And the latest reports show that more people are finding themselves in one or more of these categories every day.

Record Highs Again

Bankruptcies and foreclosures hit record highs in March - again!

Foreclosures increased 57% and bank repossessions nearly doubled in March compared to last year, according to Bloomberg News. March was the 27th month in a row with an increase in foreclosure-related filings.

California had the dubious distinction of leading the nation with a 42% increase in bankruptcy filings in the first quarter. March's 90,000 bankruptcy filings were the highest since October 2005, rising 30 percent above 2007.

Unemployment statistics are equally dreary. The nation's unemployment rate of 5.1% in March - the highest since September 2005 - means there are now 7.8 million people currently unemployed.

So, Is It A Recession Yet?

For the first time, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke this month acknowledged the likelihood that the U.S. is facing a recession. Indicators like bankruptcies, foreclosures and mortgage defaults, coupled with high unemployment, decreasing home prices and another $460 billion worth of mortgages resetting this year are pretty telling.

Some estimates are that 2.5 million foreclosed properties will have new "For Sale" signs posted this year, as bank seizures rose 129 percent in March from the previous year to a total of 51,393, according to RealtyTrac.

But those statistics are still more than just numbers to many people.

Financially Stretched? Stretched too Far?

Are you one of those people behind the statistics? Sometimes experienced, professional help is needed to get you through a difficult time. Discover the options that might be available to you if you're concerned about losing your home, losing your job or going even further into debt.

Many consumers do not realize that filing bankruptcy may be able to help you save your home in the face of a possible foreclosure. Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a great tool if you are overwhelmed with bills and have fallen behind on your mortgage payments.

For homeowners with considerable equity, who are not more than 90 days past due, there may be other options.

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