According to a recent CreditCards.com report, the rate of bankruptcy filings in the United States has dropped yet again in the third quarter of 2012. With the U.S. economy moving slowly towards recovery, consumer bankruptcy filings in the United States and the District of Columbia dropped to about 913,000 in the third quarter of 2012. This represents a 14% decline in bankruptcy filings compared to the first nine months of 2011, when filings surpassed 1.06 million. In Oklahoma, there were 12,706 bankruptcy filings in 2011, compared to 9,009 so far this year. In 2010, Oklahoma saw a total of 14,486 bankruptcy cases filed, so the decline appears to be steady on a state-wide level as well. Although overall bankruptcy filings have decreased across the U.S., many Americans are still facing significant financial difficulties. If you find yourself with overwhelming debt in Oklahoma, contact our qualified bankruptcy attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center to explore your bankruptcy options.
Bankruptcy Rate Drops From 2010 to 2011 and 2012
According to the CreditCards.com bankruptcy report, total bankruptcy filings for 2011 are also down from 2010. In 2010, the rate of bankruptcy filings in the United States skyrocketed to nearly 1.55 million – the highest number since 2005 when the new bankruptcy law drove filings to record levels and then sent them plummeting. Comparatively, in 2011, there were less than 1.37 million bankruptcy filings in the U.S., indicating yet another decline after a sharp spike. Although the number of consumer bankruptcy filings has steadily decreased since 2010, experts express doubts that the decline will continue indefinitely. As the economy continues to improve and creditors loosen their lending requirements, American consumers are likely to be less careful with their money, which would start the cycle over again.
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Along with the current drop in bankruptcy filings this year is a decline in consumer borrowing, which national bankruptcy expert Jean Braucher says is “both because of tightening underwriting standards and because debtors were being more cautious because of lack of confidence about the economy.” In line with the bankruptcy report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York also indicates that the total indebtedness of U.S. households fell to $11.38 trillion, a $53 billion decline from the first quarter of the year. In the second quarter of 2012, credit card balances totaled $672 billion, which is again a drop from a peak of $866 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York report also indicates that mortgages, foreclosures and home equity lines of credit have also declined. However, there are plenty of people in Oklahoma and across the U.S. that are facing debt and bills they can’t seem to pay. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma, contact our knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyers at Oklahoma Legal Center for legal help.