Carrie Teegardin of the Atlanta Journal published a story yesterday about the rising rate of personal bankruptcy cases in Georgia for 2009. Click here for the story. It certainly is not a surprise that the numbers are rising, given the significant drop-off after the 2005 amendments and the general state of the economy. According to the statistics, Georgia is third in the nation in bankruptcies per household, with one case filed for every 50 households. Only Nevada (one per 35 households) and Tennessee (one per 48.5 households) had higher rates.
Interestingly, while Georgia has traditionally been a state in which Chapter 13 filings predominate, more than half of the 2009 cases (through November) were Chapter 7 cases. Again, this is not a surprise given the state of the economy.
According to local Chapter 7 Trustees, there is also a significant rise in pro se cases, where individuals file without a lawyer.
You can view the statistics for the Northern District of Georgia on the Court’s website. Click here for the filings by month for 2009 and the several previous years. When the December numbers are added, it is possible we will equal or exceed the number of cases filed in 2005, when a significant number of people filed before the BAPCPA amendments (and means test) became effective.
Click here for 2009 filings by chapter and division.
2010 will no doubt be a record year for filings as more people feel the effects of the economy, and exhaust their savings.
Scott Riddle’s practice focuses on bankruptcy and litigation. Scott has represented Chapter 7 and 11 debtors, creditors, trustees and other interested parties in bankruptcy cases and bankruptcy litigation. For more information, click here.