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Decline in bankruptcy filings

National bankruptcy filings have been on the decline in recent years, which may be viewed as a sign of economic improvement for Kentucky and other states. Statistics are evaluated on a quarterly basis, and the first quarter of 2016 had a decrease of 5 percent for the total number of bankruptcy filings in the nation in comparison to the same period of time in 2015. The total number of filings during the early part of 2016 was more than 195,000.

Although total bankruptcyfilings were lower, there was an increase of 24 percent in commercial filings during this period. Chapter 11 filings had an increase of 9 percent in comparison to the first quarter of 2015. On a month-by-month basis, filings in March 2016 were up by 21 percent over the previous month but down by 4 percent in comparison to March 2015. Similar trends were noted in noncommercial bankruptcy cases filed in February and March 2016. Experts note that the declines that have been consistent for 22 quarters may be tapering as financial struggles are faced in both the business and household sectors. They expect to see Chapter 11 filings increase for both businesses and individuals in coming quarters.

Although statistics can reflect national trends, bankruptcy can become a concern at any point for a family dealing with unexpected changes. A personal bankruptcy might be necessary to get rid of excessive credit card debt or medical bills that may have accrued in the face of a serious health or work crisis.

People who are overwhelmed by their financial obligations may have questions about bankruptcy and other options for resolving debt. A bankruptcy lawyer could help with direction in terms of mandated credit counseling prior to preparing the filing if no other debt relief options are suitable.

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