13 Apr Statistics: Utah sees 56% increase in bankruptcy
Consumers in Utah filed bankruptcy in the first three months of 2009 at a rate 56% higher than the previous year. The bulk of filings, 1395 in March, represent a 73% jump over March 2008 filings. US Bankruptcy Clerk David Sime told Salt Lake City’s Deseret News it was the biggest increase seen in a long time with more cases filed in March 2009 than any month in 2008.
A Utah Foundation study shows that households in Utah followed a nationwide trend and accumulated significant debt during the housing bubble. Stephen Kroes of the Utah Foundation blames the increase filings on a trifecta of falling home prices, rising unemployment and tighter credit. In the past homeowners would use home equity loans to pay credit card and
medical debt. Falling home prices eliminate the availability of home
equity loans forcing consumers to seek bankruptcy protection. Fortunately people are able to use bankruptcy as a safety net to solve financial problems.
Andy Miofsky, Esq.
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