According to Brian O’Connell of TheStreet.com, bankruptcy filings are down for the first half of 2011. Consumer bankruptcies are down 8% so far. Some experts speculate how long that will last though, seeing as how unemployment is slowly rising again and the economy, at best, is in neutral.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate rose to 9.2% in June, and the more telling “underemployment” to 16.2%. Bankruptcy filings typically follow the unemployment rates closely.
“There is no guarantee, however that bankruptcies will steadily decrease,” according to The Bankruptcy Blog. “After all, the housing market is still glutted with foreclosure properties and home process don’t seem to be rising. As a new wave of foreclosures begins to affect homeowners, combined with sluggish growth in the jobs sector the need for bankruptcy protection could climb or remain constant for a few years to come.”
That has not happened yet, and hopefully it will not come to that. In fact, according to The National Bankruptcy Center, some states are performing better.
“Six jurisdictions this year have filings less than half the national average,” the NBC released in a report. “In ascending order, they are Washington D.C., Alaska, South Dakota, Vermont, North Dakota and Texas. Texas’ place on that list is noteworthy, since its population far exceeds that of all the other low-filing states combine. Also of note among large state’s is New York’s remarkably low rate…only slightly more than half the national rate.”
People have every right to remain skeptical for now, but some good news is a nice change of pace for the American consumers.