Bankruptcy in Iowa: 2012 in Review

The turn of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the past year, assess our current situation, and make goals for where we’d like to see ourselves by this time next year. In the bankruptcy world, however, last year has been in the books since September 30, the final day of the fiscal year 2012 (FY 2012). Regardless, here’s a look at some bankruptcy-related stats, facts, figures, and more in Iowa and around the country for FY 2012:

  • According to the Administrative Office of U.S. Court’s Fiscal Year 2012 (FY 2012) report, bankruptcy filings nationwide were down by nearly 14% from FY 2011 to FY 2012. Of the 1,261,140 bankruptcies filed in FY 2012, about 874,000 were Chapter 7 (first time under 1,000,000 since 2009) and just over 375,000 were Chapter 13.
  • Of the total U.S. population, about 4 in 1,000 people filed for bankruptcy in FY 2012. The state with the highest rate of bankruptcy was Nevada with 7.11 per 1,000 and the lowest was Alaska with 1.16 per 1,000. Iowa had the 43rd most with just 2.19 filings per 1,000.
  • 1.98 in 1,000 Iowans filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (35th) and just .2 per 1,000 Iowans (or 1 in 10,000) filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy (49th). Of the 50 states (not including U.S. territories), only Alaska and North Dakota had lower Chapter 13 bankruptcy ratios.

In all, it’s hard not to look at these numbers and be encouraged. As we continue to work through a difficult financial chapter in our country’s history, reduction in the frequency of bankruptcies means that individuals are getting better at managing their money and understanding the limits of their financial situations. The American Bankers Association provides more evidence to that fact, reporting that late credit card payments hit their lowest point this year since 1994. Some experts also predict that bankruptcies could go down again in 2013.

At Marks Law Firm, we are proud of the work we did in 2012, and look forward to serving clients with the same levels of respect, dedication, and personal care in 2013. This year we helped countless families and individuals get their financial lives back on track with successful bankruptcies, foreclosure defense, and consumer protection legal services. If at any time in 2013 you feel like you have nowhere to turn, the team at Marks Law Firm will be your lifeline. No one should have to face bankruptcy or a potential foreclosure alone. Call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to access your situation. If your New Year’s resolution was to get out of debt, let us help you take the first step.

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