Trials & Litigation
Personal Bankruptcies Up 9% in 2010, Expected to Rise Again in 2011
Posted Jan 3, 2011 7:00 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Personal bankruptcies shot up 9 percent in 2010 compared to the previous year and are expected to rise again in 2011.
The 1,530,078 filings were a record high since federal bankruptcy law revisions took effect in 2005 that made it harder for debtors to benefit from declaring bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reports.
But that increase is mild compared to a 40 percent spike in personal bankruptcies in South Florida, where the real estate market has been particularly hard-hit and unemployment is high, the Sun Sentinel reports.
Most are Chapter 7 liquidations. One lawyer told the Sun Sentinel that in 2010, he had clients who previously had net worth in the millions file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
In addition to individuals in construction and real estate, related businesses also were hard-hit, attorney David Langley of Plantation, Fla., tells the newspaper. "There was a ripple effect—the little restaurant that was near the construction site or near some real estate firm."