By Jerry White, 6 January 2011:
The number of people in the US filing for bankruptcy rose by 9 percent last year to 1.53 million, as more working families fell victim to job losses, plunging home values and unforgiving creditors.
The figure was the highest since 2005 when changes in the bankruptcy laws making it more difficult and costly to file led to a sharp decline in the number of Americans seeking court protection. The recent spike in cases—despite the added costs and legal hurdles—is indicative of just how desperate large segments of the American population are despite the official claims of an economic recovery.
Over the last three years—as the economic recession and 2008 crash took hold—4 million consumers filed for bankruptcy, with last year’s numbers matching the record levels reached before 2005. While most filers earn less than $30,000 and lack a college degree, a growing percentage of families with incomes above $60,000 and college degrees are being forced into bankruptcy.
As tens of millions are finding it impossible to pay their bills, the corporations and banks are raking in record profits, top executives are pocketing huge payouts and the richest 2 percent of the population is celebrating the tax cut handed to them by Obama and the congressional Republicans. Read more>>