What’s next for our troubled economy? Hard to say, but everyone hopes a rally is right around the corner. Unfortunately, the latest bankruptcy numbers indicate that the economy is not yet ready to be taken off life support. For example, national consumer bankruptcy filings increased by 9 percent in October. And so far this year, about one million consumers have gone bankrupt–some 135,000 in October alone. These statistics were the highest since the first three quarters of 2005, when 1.35 million consumers declared bankruptcy. About 1/3 of the October filings came in the form of Chapter 13 bankruptcies, an option that allows consumers to repay a portion of their debts over an extended period of time.

Unlike the situation today, in 2005 bankruptcies apparently went through the roof because of sweeping changes in the bankruptcy laws which caused debtors to rush to file under Chapter 7 before new, more strict rules went into effect. Today, for many consumers considering personal bankruptcy in Milwaukee and elsewhere in the state, bankruptcy is less about choice and more about necessity.

When all is said and done, over 1.4 million consumers overwhelmed by joblessness, mortgage loans, credit card bills and other challenges are expected to seek debt relief in federal bankruptcy court by the end of 2009. When the final results get tallied, a staggering 30% increase is expected over 2008.

Obviously Wisconsin is not immune from the national economic picture. Wisconsin consumers are having a tough go. But bankruptcy isn’t just about cold statistics–it’s about real people struggling to care for their families in difficult financial circumstances. If you are seeking debt relief in Wisconsin, you will need a lawyer that knows his way around the bankruptcy court and the ins and outs of bankruptcy laws in Wisconsin. A qualified debt consolidation lawyer can answer your Wisconsin bankruptcy questions and discuss the various alternatives to help you move on with your life.