Minnesota bankruptcy filings fell during the first half of 2012, according to recent data released by Epiq Systems, which compiles data for the American Bankruptcy Institute. The Star Tribune reports that bankruptcy filings are down 11.5% for the first half of 2012 when compared to the first half of 2011 and may drop below the level of 2009 bankruptcy filings. The reported decline was even greater in Minneapolis. According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 4,539 Minneapolis bankruptcy filings were made from January through June 2012, a 14% decrease when compared to January through June 2011.
Despite this seemingly good news, economists are warning Minnesotans and others that the bankruptcy filing statistics should not necessarily be taken as a sign that the economy is improving. Household debt remains about the same as it did in 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. However, more debtors may be able to make payments on time and avoid bankruptcy.
There is some concern that if banks once again become more aggressive in foreclosing on homes the number of bankruptcies will once again increase as people try to stay in their homes as long as possible. There is also some concern that the number of filings will not continue to decrease at the same rate in the near future.
Minnesotans are urged to remember that they have legal options of they are having trouble paying their bills and that a call to a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer may provide much needed relief in times of economic trouble.