As we put 2009 in the rear-view mirror, final numbers show that bankruptcies filed in Wisconsin (both the Eastern District and Western District U.S. bankruptcy courts) totaled 27,413–a 30 percent increase over 2008. The vast majority (80 percent) were Chapter 7 petitions. Wisconsin bankruptcy filings jumped by an astounding 65 percent since 2007. And going forward, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel points out, underemployment in addition to unemployment looms large: “Bankruptcy lawyers noted it’s not only layoffs and firings driving people to insolvency as the economic downturn drags on. The losses of once-regular overtime pay and full-time status have left consumers unable to stay current on monthly payments that in the past were no problem to handle.” Lost or limited income would also suggest that Wisconsin bank foreclosures will continue to multiply as more jobless homeowners have difficulties keeping up with monthly payments.

Hopefully, Wisconsin residents who are currently out of work or underemployed will find greater success in their job hunt in 2010. But any consumer behind the economic eight ball may find that this could a good time to speak with a debt consolidation lawyer about various options, including an individual bankruptcy in Wisconsin. A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Wisconsin may not be in the immediate future, if at all, but getting answers to your Wisconsin bankruptcy questions may be a valuable starting point for your prospects of obtaining debt relief in Wisconsin.