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Bankruptcy filings down in Orlando, but times still tough

Several years ago the economy took a turn for the worst and the U.S. was declared as being in a recession. This led to a number of Florida residents struggling to keep up with credit card and mortgage payments. Thousands of people -- who were normally very responsible with their money -- ended up filing for bankruptcy.

The effects of the recession were also not only limited to people, as many businesses felt the economic decline as customers stopped spending as much money. This too led many businesses to file for bankruptcy.

Last year, bankruptcy filings in Orlando, Florida, were down from the previous year, which could lead some to believe hard financial times are well over. However, not only is the economy still not what it once was, there are also always going to be situations where people will find themselves in tough financial binds and needing to file for bankruptcy.

Additionally, when saying there was a decline in bankruptcy filings -- which there truly was -- it's important to remember that just in Orlando there was still tens of thousands of bankruptcies that were filed in 2011.

According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, there were 69,718 Chapter 7 filings in 2011. In 2010 there were 83,635. When it came to Chapter 11, which is typically filed by a business, in 2011 there were 927. In 2010 there were 1,133.

What this means for Orlando residents, or business owners, is that just because the economy is better than it once was, and even though filings are down, times are still tough and many are still turning to bankruptcy as a way to solve their debt problems.

Source: Orlando Business Journal, "Bankruptcy filings statewide down in 2011," Richard Bilbao, June 12, 2012

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