Personal bankruptcy filings rose by nearly a third last year as foreclosures and job losses took their toll on Americans.
There were 1.41 million personal bankruptcy filings last year, up 32 percent from 2008, the National Bankruptcy Research Center reported. It’s the highest number since 2005, when more stringent bankruptcy laws took effect, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Many filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which the 2005 law attempted to make it harder to do. Chapter 7 filings allow people to liquidate their assets to pay off some debts and not have to pay others, according to the WSJ, while Chapter 13 filings force those declaring bankruptcy to enter into repayment plans.