Many Texas residents who are overwhelmed financially by the sluggish economy will not consider bankruptcy options because of the stigma that they feel it carries. They don't want to be "the one" on their street who is seeking what was once considered a desperate measure. In fact, filing for bankruptcy has become more and more common since the recession began.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio is reporting a substantial increase in personal bankruptcy cases. Reports indicate that cases in South Central Texas have increased by as much as 10 percent in October 2011 as compared to October 2010. The San Antonio court saw 439 cases filed in October 2011, an increase from the 398 filings in October 2010.
In September 2011, there were 422 cases filed. Other months where increases in personal bankruptcy cases occurred (compared to 2010) were in January, February and June. With holiday credit card bills coming in right around January and February, it is not surprising that right before and right after the financial crunch of the holidays is when bankruptcy cases occur more frequently.
A Chapter 13 filing is one where bankruptcy is filed for debt reorganization. Chapter 13 filings increased by 13 percent this year for that court. A Chapter 7 filing is when complete liquidation occurs, and these increased by almost 9 percent in 2011. Additionally, five businesses in October 2011 have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and that was an increase from the three filings in September 2011.
It is definitely not good news. The economy is in bad shape, and although word of recovery keeps making headlines, the average middle class American just isn't feeling it yet. But there are options for a fresh financial start, and this means one does not need to live with overwhelming financial burdens and harassing creditors.