2014 Bankruptcy Predictions

Here we are in 2014, so I will give you my predictions for bankruptcy matters in Hawaii.

First off, total bankruptcy filings for 2013 was 2071 cases, down 18% since last year. I account the drop in filings to the fact that some debtors just can’t afford to file bankruptcy and people don’t file bankruptcy unless they have something to lose (if you’re unemployed, don’t have a mortgage or a car loan, why file?).

My thinking regarding filing numbers is people file bankruptcy while the economy is on the way down to protect what they have. On the flip side, people file when the economy is on the rise to prevent creditors from getting what they will be getting.

It is pretty clear that the Hawaii economy is recovering. The unemployment rate is down to 4.4% from a peak of 7.1% in 2009. Sale prices for real estate are also up. This should translate into more people working and more creditors looking to get a piece of that pie. Nothing gets a person to see a bankruptcy attorney like being sued for a credit card. So the better the debt collectors do, the better the bankruptcy attorneys do.

Thus, I predict filing numbers will be up next year about 10%, so filing in the 2200-2300 range.

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