Bankruptcy filings in the Orlando area have decreased for a second year in a row, leading to the lowest number of filings since 2008. Through November 2012, there were 16,640 bankruptcy cases that had been filed in the metro area. That is a 9.3 percent decrease compared with the same period of time last year.
With some significant financial instability in central Florida, experts say that they are not sure what factors contributed to the reduction in bankruptcy declarations.
“I really don’t know why it has happened,” said a trustee for the bankruptcy court in Orlando. “Maybe the answer is we’ve reached just about everyone in the population who’s going to file bankruptcy at this point. At least we’ve hit a peak, until something else happens.”
It is certainly possible that the cycle of job loss and overwhelming debt is starting to come to a close, particularly since the credit markets tightened up after the housing bubble burst and fewer consumers were able to obtain new loans. According to a recent Equifax report, households in the Orlando area have successfully paid down existing credit card debt at a rate that outpaces all but two other major metro areas in the United States.
At the same time, Orlando continued to lead in foreclosures, indicating that many families may have made the hard decision to leave their homes in order to pay off other types of debt.
For central Florida families who have experienced a job loss or reduction in income because of the recession, bankruptcy can offer a chance to start over for those who qualify under federal laws. There are many important considerations to take into account before pursuing a bankruptcy filing under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, and its often wise to consult with a Florida bankruptcy and loan modification professional before choosing a particular mode of debt management.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Orlando bankruptcies fall for 2nd-straight year, heading for lowest mark since 2008,” Richard Burnett, Dec. 30, 2012.