2010 was a disheartening year for many people. According to the Bankruptcy Court in Miami, the number of personal bankruptcies in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties rose by 40%. Bankruptcies Florida totaled 24,681 in the state's southern region in 2009; they rose to 34,579 in 2010. As unfortunate as the increase is, it dovetails with unemployment figures, home foreclosures and business closings around the state.
Are Things Worse in Florida?
Across the country, personal bankruptcies were up by 9% in 2010. In 2009, approximately 1.41 million personal bankruptcies were filed in the United States. In 2010, that number rose to 1.53 million filings, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. Based on that information, it may appear that Florida is worse off than many other parts of the country. However, there is a bit of a silver lining at play: Monthly bankruptcy filings have actually been on the decline in the state since September 2010. In December, there were 2,577 bankruptcies filed in south Florida, which represents a 2.6% decline from the previous month.
Understanding Bankruptcies Florida
The vast majority of the personal bankruptcies that are filed in the state of Florida are Chapter 7 bankruptcies. Under Chapter 7, a person must liquidate his or her assets in order to pay off old debt. Under Chapter 11 bankruptcy a person with the help of an attorney, works with the court to come up with a way to consolidate and reorganize his debt. Determining which bankruptcy is right for you can be tricky; an experienced attorney can help you make the right decision.
Unemployment and Bankruptcies
Considering the fact that Florida's unemployment rate is, on average, 12%, it makes sense that there have been excessive numbers of bankruptcies during the last twelve months. In south Florida, unemployment ranges from 10.8% to 13%, a fact that highlights the especially dire situation in that part of the state. Whether or not those numbers will improve in 2011 remains to be seen; similarly, it's too early to tell whether the slow decline in the number of bankruptcies is just a blip on the radar or the beginning of a long-term trend.
Click on the following links to read more on Bankruptcy increase in Florida:
South Florida Bankruptcies increas 40% in 2010 - Sun Sentinel - Marcia Pounds
Bankruptcy Statistics 2010 - U.S. Federal Courts