Bankruptcy continues to rise in state
By: Danielle Kaeding, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Bankruptcy filings in Wisconsin are up about 30-percent from last year at this time.
For all of 2008, there were just under 7,000 bankruptcy filings in the Western District of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wisconsin, which covers 44 counties. This year, that number had already exceeded 6,700 by October. Marcia Anderson is clerk of courts for the district. She says job loss and health issues seem to be behind the increase. Anderson says more people over 60 are filing for bankruptcy due to the economy or medical expenses. She says people on fixed incomes are having problems.
David Russell, a bankruptcy attorney in La Crosse, is seeing much of the same. Russell says divorce, a lack of insurance and the loss of a job are all contributing factors.
Russell says filings seem to be letting up a bit now, but others like Jackie Urban don’t see a break in those looking for help. Urban is program director of Consumer Credit Counseling Services in La Crosse. She says early summer and December used to be a slow time for credit counseling, but in the last three or four years, there’s been a growing need.
The Eastern District of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the state is also seeing a 30 percent increase in filings from last year with more than 14,000 recorded by the end of September.