A Toledo Blade article on Friday reported on the number of Bankruptcy filings in the 21 counties that make up NW Ohio. The Blade reported that bankruptcy filings in the month of March totalled 1,063, surpassing the 1,000 mark for a single month for the first time since October of 2005. October of 2005 is significant because that was the month that the Bankruptcy Code changed to make it more difficult to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
The number of filings in Toledo jumped by 16% over the same month last year. The increase in number of filings was propelled by continued foreclosure actions, job loss and non-work related medical costs.
Nationwide, there were 158,000 filings in the month of March 2010 according to an article in the New York Times. The Times also reported that this number was greater than any other single month since the Bankruptcy Code changes became effective in October of 2005. High unemployment was cited as a reason that people are seeking protection of the Bankruptcy Court.
Although there are some economic indicators pointing to the end of the current economic recession, The Toledo and NW Ohio area continue to struggle. Everyday I meet with hard working men and women who are dealing with the worst economic situation we have seen in NW Ohio for many years. Are the Bankruptcy filing numbers an indicator that we may have reached the end of this economic downturn? Or do they illustrate just the opposite? What are your thoughts?
Michael P. Dansack