Millions across the country have faced the possibility of having to declare bankruptcy. For increasing numbers New Jersey residents, that possibility is becoming reality.
According to a report in the Times of Trenton, the number of bankruptcy filings in the state increased considerably – by 27 percent – in the 12-month period ending in May from the previous year. Those numbers hit their peak in March, when 4,166 state residents filed for bankruptcy. That was the highest monthly total since the federal bankruptcy laws were changed four years ago.
Exacerbating the problem is that many of these filings have been by individuals, and that number is climbing all the time. Salaries have stayed flat, and many homeowners have lost their jobs, which has wiped out their savings as their income dried up. That leads to more credit card debt, making their financial situation worse every month.
Nationwide, consumer bankruptcies increased steadily in the first six months of the year, climbing 14 percent over filings in the same period last year. But according to the American Bankruptcy Institute, there have been three months of slight decline in the number of bankruptcy cases.