As the economy improves, the bankruptcy rate has inched downwards, even in states like Tennessee, where the number of bankruptcy filings dropped 7 percent in 2014. The good news is mixed, however, as Tennessee still ranked first in the nation for bankruptcy filings.
Foreclosures also declined, which likely influenced the need for bankruptcy filings by some residents of Tennessee, as borrowers often use a Chapter 13 filing to stop a foreclosure process to keep their home. In one county, foreclosures fell by 13 percent from 2013.
The declining numbers of foreclosures is good for all homeowners, as the reduction of distressed real estate on the market to pre-2006 real estate bubble numbers should allow values to climb at a faster rate. The presence of high numbers of foreclosed properties has had a depressing effect on real estate valuation for most of the last decade.
If you are involved in a foreclosure or fear that your lender is likely to commence a foreclosure proceeding, you should discuss how a Chapter 13 could help your situation with a bankruptcy attorney.
Especially if you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments, a Chapter 13 may give you the time you need to regroup financially. You can repay the mortgage arrears during the five-years of the plan, while stopping collection harassment.
You may also be able to eliminate other debt, like installment loans and credit card debt, which can help you with paying your current mortgage payment as well as the arrears.
While the economy is improving, the numbers of bankruptcy filings indicate that in Tennessee there is still a long way to go before everyone is sharing in the recovery.
Timesfreepress.com, "Foreclosures, bankruptcies drop to pre-recession levels, but South still tops in filings," Dave Flessner, January 18, 2015