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Hundreds of thousands still file for bankruptcy

Recent numbers released show a decrease in national and local bankruptcy filings for the three month period ending June 30. However, while some may jump to the conclusion this means hard financial times are over, Florida residents should still take heed as the filings are still in the hundreds of thousands and many will face financial strife in the future and seek out debt relief.

On the national level there were 325,693 bankruptcies filed between April 1 and June 30. This represents a 14 percent decrease in filings from the same time period last year when there were 379,790 bankruptcies filed.

Locally, for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, there were 12,281 filings. This was a 5.9 percent decrease from the same three-month time period in 2011 when there were 13,052 filed.

Of those filed for the middle district, the majority were personal bankruptcies, which were most likely comprised of a mix of Chapter 7 liquidations and Chapter 13 reorganizations. Just 524 of those filed were business bankruptcies.

When it comes to bankruptcy, there are many different options for a business or individual. There's a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or a Chapter 13 -- and in some cases a Chapter 11. Each type of bankruptcy has its own set of rules and produces different results. An attorney with experience handling all types of bankruptcies and debt relief options can look at a person or company's circumstances to help determine which would be the most effective type of filing.

Source: Orlando Business Journal, "Bankruptcy filings fall 5.9 percent in Central Florida," Aug. 6, 2012

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