The number of bankruptcy filings in March 2022 rose 34% over the number of filings in February. Anecdotally, we’ve seen an increase of filings locally in Bakersfield as well.
The number of filings typically notch up this time of year as people start to receive their tax refunds, and they use that to pay for their bankruptcies. While we’re nowhere near pre-pandemic levels of filing (and the number of filings for Q1 this year versus Q1 last year are down about 17% nationwide), I think some of the increase in new cases is due to creditors being more aggressive, and we’ve definitely had several new clients site the loss of pandemic-era stimulus and extra unemployment income as the reason to seek protection in bankruptcy.
Interestingly, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that the average time it takes for someone to file bankruptcy is 22 months from when they miss their first payment. With the increase in inflation, interest rates, and rental costs, we are getting close to that 22 month period to see increased bankruptcy filings.
What this means is that if you are struggling financially, you are not alone. In my over 20 years as a bankruptcy attorney, the most common thing I hear from clients is, “I wish I had done this sooner.”
Contact us today to set up a free phone consultation to see what your options are. We’re here to help!