Throughout 2014, fewer Missouri residents chose to seek out bankruptcy help from either a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, as the number of bankruptcy filings across the state declined for another year.
According to a January 1 St. Joseph News-Press article, findings from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Western District of Missouri reveal that 351 individuals filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy help, a 36% decrease from 2013. Meanwhile, 206 Chapter 13 bankruptcies were filed, a 27% decrease.
It’s a far cry from the worst years of the Great Recession. In 2009, Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys throughout Missouri handled 890 filings, while Chapter 13 filings peaked in 2010 with 441 cases, the News-Press reports.
As the U.S. jobless rate has gradually fallen to around 5%, more Missourians are regaining employment, meaning they no longer have to borrow as much money to get by from day to day. And with less debt, there will be fewer bankruptcies.
However, even with continued economic recovery, it’s still highly important for Missourians to be smart with their finances to avoid becoming inundated with debt. Everyone needs to make purchases, but it’s important to know how to spend less on these necessities. In addition, by saving money toward retirement and putting aside money each month for emergencies, one can protect him or herself from needing to borrow money.
Another great way to improve one’s finances? Going back to school. By just taking a few courses at a community college or other schools, one’s professional skills can be enhanced, improving job prospects immensely, according to the News-Press.
By remembering these tips, the bankruptcy rate for Missouri residents can continue to fall back to pre-recession levels.
What do you think about Missouri’s 2014 bankruptcy rate? Do you have any other questions about the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy? Ask us anything related to bankruptcy in the comments below.