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Number of bankruptcy filings down, but many still in trouble

According to a report from the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), the number of Americans filing for bankruptcy fell by 14 percent in 2012 to 1.19 million, from 1.38 million in 2011. This was the lowest number since the economic recession hit in 2008, and the ABI expects the number to drop further in 2013.

The report was based on information collected by Epiq Systems Inc, which found that there were 1.13 million noncommercial bankruptcy filings in 2012, and 57,788 commercial filings, which was a 22-percent drop from last year.

The executive director of the ABI said the number of bankruptcy filings is likely to continue to decline as many U.S. households begin to cut back their debt and as interest rates continue to stay low. However, another reason for this is that Congress changed bankruptcy laws in 2005, making it harder to file.

Even with the economic recession and housing crisis, the number of bankruptcies has been relatively low since the laws were changed. In the 10 years leading up to the law reform, there were an average of 1.50 million filings per year. Over the past four years, the average number of filings was 1.39 million annually.

However, there are still millions of people in Florida and the rest of the country who are overwhelmed with debt. For many of these people, bankruptcy may still be a viable option. Because of the law change, it's more important than ever to have a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer on your side who can help guide you through the process.

Source: Reuters, "U.S. bankruptcy filings drop 14 pct in 2012," Jan. 4, 2012

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  • "When I first came to the decision to file for bankruptcy, I had no idea where to start. I began researching attorneys on the internet and came across the information for Tim Sierra. Since he specialized in bankruptcy and had a lot of experience......"
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  • I don't ever write reviews, and I had no prior relationship with Mr. Sierra. This review is simply being written as a service to others that Mr. Sierra is an excellent attorney and should be considered for your needs if you need one....
  • "I'm very happy to have been referred to Tim for my Chapter 7 filing. He was knowledgeable in his field and very responsive in replying to any questions or concerns I had. Tim was also very accommodating with meeting times..."
  • " I recently was in need of Mr. Sierra's services and I found him to be very understanding and helpful in my particular circumstance. He met with me and explained everything in full detail and also answered every question that I had....."
  • " I recommend Timothy Sierra a loyal and dependable lawyer. When you talk to him you feel that you are with a friend or a member of your family. Timothy is able to lead you in every step of the process. Good job Timothy."
  • " Bankruptcy is a private and personally devastating life event. Timothy Sierra and his assistant, Nancy, made the process as painless as possible. They kept in close contact via phone and email so I always knew what was happening in my case...."
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