Back in early 2017, there were a significant number of news stories broadcasting the fact that the number of bankruptcy filings that had been logged during 2016 represented a significant drop from previous years. In fact, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC), 2016’s bankruptcy rate dropped nearly six percent from the previous year and represented the low point for a ten-year period. That was very positive news for individuals and businesses alike and was a leading indicator of a robust economy. But even this good news had an ominous overcast, as 2016 was the first calendar year in five years that saw the percentage of decline in the rate of bankruptcy filings falling below 10 percent. After 5 years of significant drops, the trend was clearly dropping. Now two years later, economic indicators are even more concerning, as experts believe it likely for the trend to entirely reverse.

Speaking of the trend to Bloomberg BNA, Professor Robert Lawless of the University of Illinois College of Law said that the flattening out of bankruptcy filings was an indicator that things had gotten just about as good as they were likely to get. “We have historically low filing rates,” he said. “Filing rates haven’t been this low since 1987. We’re very close to the bottom.”

That was back in 2017. Fast forward to early 2019 and the experts who track bankruptcy filings are noticing a slow but steady uptick, as well as other indications that the economy is about to take a turn in the opposite direction, leaving consumers and business owners alike in need of a financial life preserver. Though one indication has been a rise in the number of bankruptcy filings in the state of Delaware, which is a corporate haven, one of the most telling statistics to be reported had to do with consumer debt: a record number of Americans are reported delinquent on their car payments by three months or more. This number is 1 million higher than was seen 10 years ago when we were in the midst of the last recession.

Another indication of trouble on the horizon has been the number of big-name companies who have recently filed for bankruptcies. These include Sports Authority, Toys R Us and Sears.  And experts on law firm hiring have noted that big firms are recruiting for attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy law.

If you are struggling to pay your debts and you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it doesn’t matter whether you are an individual or a business owner: our bankruptcy attorneys can help. Contact us today to set up a time to meet.

 

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