Orange County consumer bankruptcies continue to rise; small businesses continue to seek bankruptcy protection

The number of people who filed bankruptcy in Orange County increased 40 percent in the first six months of 2010, the Orange County Register reported.

Our Garden Grove bankruptcy lawyers continue to report on the record number of consumers who are filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection as a result of the collapsing real estate market and the economic downturn. Speaking with an experienced bankruptcy protection lawyer is one of the best ways to restore financial freedom and recover from job loss, a medical emergency or the crushing weight of consumer debt that can come with an upside down mortgage or unmanageable credit card debt.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, which covers San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, reports that 6,500 Orange County businesses and individuals filed for bankruptcy protection between January and July of 2010. That rate is 40.3 percent higher than a year ago.

While the numbers of bankruptcies continue to grow,the rate is slowing. By comparison, the number of filings increased by 77 percent between June 2008 and June 2009. Authorities place the blame for the strain on consumers on a number of factors, including:

  • Unemployment: 9.5 percent
  • Housing foreclosures: Up 3.8 percent in first half of 2010
  • Consumer debt: 2.4 trillion in May.

California small businesses are also leading the nation in the number of bankruptcy filings. Orange County small business bankruptcies represented 8.6 of all filings.

The Shakoori Law Group is dedicated to fighting for consumers in the areas of bankruptcy, debt collection defense and consumer protection. Call today to discuss your rights. (877) 529-2188.

Nation on pace for record number of bankruptcy filings; Orange County is no exception

Businessweek is reporting that U.S. consumer bankruptcies could top 1.6 million this year, after a reported increase of 9 percent in June.

As our Santa Ana bankruptcy attorneys reported last month on our Orange County Bankruptcy Lawyer Blog, the number of consumers filing bankruptcy in Orange County increased 40 percent during the first six month of the year.

Nationwide, the 137,798 bankruptcies in June represent a 9 percent increase from last year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

“Debt burdens, unemployment and an uncertain economic climate continue to weigh on consumers,” Samuel J. Gerdano, the institute’s executive director, said in the statement. “The pace of consumer filings this year remains on track to top 1.6 million filings.”

The most common reasons for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Los Angeles area include bad mortgage debt, credit card debt, medical bills and divorce.

Last year’s 1.4 million consumer bankruptcy filings represented an increase of 32 percent over 2008. In fact, bankruptcies have increased steadily since the implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act. That law, which was pushed through by the banking industry, sought to make it more difficult to file Chapter 7, or liquidation, bankruptcies. It establishes an income to debt ratio and can require a repayment plan in certain instances.

But the reality is that insurmountable levels of consumer debt is what drives bankruptcy filings. Bankruptcy offers consumers the most powerful tool available to stop debt collectors, foreclosure, or other harassment while a consumer regains control of their financial life.

Consulting an experienced Riverside bankruptcy lawyer can help determine the best course of action to deal with consumer debt and restore your financial independence. The Shakoori Law Group, a law firm dedicated to bankruptcy, debt collection defense and consumer protection throughout the Los Angeles area, can be reached at (877) 529-2188.

Orange County's bankruptcies often involve unemployment, foreclosure, bad real estate debt

An additional $3 billion is being made available by the Obama Administration, including $1 billion in loans for the unemployed and $2 billion in funds for homeowners in the five hardest-hit states, including California.

Many of those filing for bankruptcy in Orange County are dealing with unemployment and/or bad real estate debt. For some, a loan modification or government program could provide assistance. But for many, seeking the advice of a Santa Ana bankruptcy lawyer is the best option for putting an end to financial problems and to seeking a new financial beginning.

CNN reports the $1 billion will be available in loans at 0% interest for amounts up to $50,000. The loans are aimed at assisting the unemployed keep their homes. The remaining $2 billion will be distributed to homeowners in the five hardest-hit housing markets: California, Arizona, Florida, Nevada and Michigan.

Few states have been as hard hit as California when it comes to the real estate market. Throw in record unemployment and it’s no wonder why so many consumers are struggling. We assist clients throughout the Los Angeles area as they put a stop to the harassment of creditors and bill collectors and seize control of their lives again.

For many, a Chapter 7 filing is the best option. Sometimes known as a liquidation bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will result in the elimination of most debt. You may even be able to keep your home or automobile, although it may make financial sense to include them in the bankruptcy. These are options you can discuss with us during your free consultation. In other cases, a Chapter 13 filing may make the most sense and will provide a consumer with the time and space necessary to establish a repayment plan and satisfy debts with little or no disruption to their lives.

Aside from unemployment and foreclosures, other leading causes of bankruptcy filings include divorce, medical bills and credit card debt.

The Shakoori Law Group, a law firm dedicated to bankruptcy, debt collection defense and consumer protection, can be reached at (877) 529-2188.

Inability to refinance or seek home equity loans can prompt consumer bankruptcies in Orange County

Lingering economic uncertainty has done more than destabilize our domestic and international financial markets. For Californians especially, who are among the hardest hit in the nation by the multi-faceted recession, as the household and living expenses mount, the security and structure of many families is threatened.

Both job seekers and employers are unsure about the future, leading to fewer hires and rising unemployment numbers. The housing market continues to stumble, and many Orange County homeowners are left watching helplessly as their savings disappear, their credit card debt increases and their credit scores tumble.

Many seeking advice from Orange County bankruptcy attorneys are being crushed by mounting debt, diminished income and plummeting home and commercial property values.

As many families struggle to stay afloat while considering their financial options, refinancing seems like a promising life-line. But according to a recent article in SF Gate, “lenders have been have been subjecting mortgage and refinance applicants to stricter and stricter criteria.”

In short, California homeowners, in their greatest time of need, are now facing a more challenging application process and lesser likelihood of refinancing approval.

The SF Gate article indicates that factor such as stricter income-verification standards and a more intense review of credit scores, paired with lender paranoia, restrictions on eligible income and inexperienced lenders can and do negatively impact a homeowner’s chances to secure a low-interest refinance.

Finding and understanding, experienced and knowledgeable Santa Ana bankruptcy attorney can assist you in determining a course of action and help you regain control of your life.

Our team members will help you navigate the distinctions between filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, helping you deciding whether or not it is in your best interest to keep your home and putting a stop to harassing phone calls from debt collectors.

The Shakoori Law Group, a law firm dedicated to bankruptcy, debt collection defense and consumer protection, can be reached at (877) 529-2188.

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