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Western New York sees recent bankruptcy filing increase

Personal bankruptcy options are available for individuals struggling with debt and its associated burdens. Bankruptcy filings were on the rise in the western portion of New York in February. The increase was the first year-over-year increase since December of 2014. The 20 percent increase in February was significant and represented 17 counties in New York State. In addition, year-to-date filing numbers were also up 4.5 percent. The increase reversed a trend showing a decline in bankruptcies. In total, 603 filings have been recorded this year.

It is unknown if an increase in bankruptcies will continue. The American Bankruptcy Institute reported a one percent drop in bankruptcies nationwide in February. Unlike personal bankruptcies, however, nationwide Chapter 11 business bankruptcies saw an increase of 32 percent in February. There are a number of different bankruptcy options available depending the situation and circumstances of the party seeking debt relief.

Like a Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy for businesses, Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy is available to individuals seeking personal bankruptcy options. Provided the party seeking to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy has a reliable source of income, they may be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and reorganize their debts so that they are more manageable. Likewise, individuals seeking debt relief but may be in somewhat different circumstances may benefit from the option to file for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy protection. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows the filing party to liquidate assets to repay debts and enjoy debt relief.

There are different personal bankruptcy options for individuals in different situations and circumstances to help them find relief from the stresses of debt. Because there are different requirements to file, it is important that individuals considering filing for personal bankruptcy are familiar with the options available to help them.

Source: Bizjournals.com, "Surprise, surprise: Bankruptcy filings on the rise in February," Allissa Kline, March 3, 2016

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