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Orlando expects to see bankruptcy, foreclosure increases

Even though there has been a decrease in the number of bankruptcies being filed in the Middle District of Florida, the district is still considered to be one of the areas harder hit by financial strife as the overall number of bankruptcies is still higher than most other parts of the country. And with foreclosure rates expected to rise again in the near future, the number of bankruptcy filings is also expected to once again increase.

When comparing January through August of last year to this year, 2011 did see a 16 percent decrease in the number of people filing for bankruptcy in the Middle District of Florida. This district includes such big cities as Orlando, Daytona, Tampa and Ft. Meyers

Within this trend, Chapter 7 bankruptcies dropped 17.5 percent, but still accounted for 75 percent of all the bankruptcy filings. Chapter 13 bankruptcies were down 20 percent and Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings dropped by 23.5 percent.

Information collected by the United States Bankruptcy Courts website showed that from July of 2010 to June of 2011, there were 59,199 bankruptcies filed in the Middle District of Florida, making the area the third highest for bankruptcy filings across the country.

Many times bankruptcies also hinge on home foreclosures. And while foreclosures died down a bit after lenders ran into problems surrounding robo-signing, foreclosures are expected to once again pick up as banks find viable solutions on how to properly and legally foreclose on a home. The thought is that when foreclosures start to increase, so will the number of bankruptcies.

Aside from a possible increase in foreclosures, many Florida residents are also continuing to struggle as the unemployment rate is still close to the double-digits, and those in certain industries -- like real estate -- continue to struggle since the recession ended in 2010.

Looking to the future, while this information may seem bleak to many, it is important to remember that there are financial solutions available, and that it's best to look into these options right away instead of waiting until you've already lost your home and spent retirement savings.

Source: Financial News & Daily Record, "Bankruptcy pace down 16 % in first eight months," Karen Brune Mathis, Sept. 21, 2011

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James H. Monroe, P.A.
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