No matter what the economic landscape seems to be, Oregon residents are still vulnerable to financial challenges. The ability to get a fresh financial start can be life changing for people who cannot afford to pay debts that have been incurred. While the thought of filing for bankruptcy can be scary at first, it can also offer great security and opportunity when no other options exist.

A recent report issued by Fitch Ratings announced that the overall rate of bankruptcy filings by individuals has steadily declined for the past four years. In 2012, a total of 1,157,491 people filed a personal bankruptcy compared to 1,011,732 in 2013. That change represented a drop of more than 12 percent in all. Stable consumer spending and the continued repayment of debts contributed to this decrease.

Additional help for consumers is provided by a lowered unemployment rate and jobless claim rate. The report’s projection for the 2014 calendar year suggests that the decline will be somewhere between eight and 10 percent, bringing more good news to some. Banks can be expected to provide more credit opportunities as the trend moves forward. The article discussing the Fitch Ratings report did not break down the rate of Chapter 13 versus Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings.

While there is a drop in the number of overall personal bankruptcies in the United States, that does not negate the importance of or need for this path for some people. If you are continuing to struggle financially, you may wish to talk with a bankruptcy attorney to understand if this option could help you.

Source: Reuters.com, “RPT-Fitch: U.S. Personal Bankruptcies Set to Drop Again,” February 6, 2014