Although unemployment remains low and wages continue to rise, the number of people in Florida who are filing for bankruptcy is on the uptick. According to numbers reported by a major Florida media outlet, bankruptcy filings have increased by 11 percent across the state. In the vicinity of Tampa and Central Florida, the increase is closer to 12 percent.
The good news is that numbers remain far below those that the state experienced during the Great Recession at the end of the last decade and, for that matter, throughout the 2000s.
However, the state is showing some signs of economic distress given that, across the country, the number of bankruptcies has only increased by one percent. It is a little puzzling why the number of bankruptcies is increasing so much in this state because, in many other respects, the local economy is showing signs of continued vigor.
While it is hard to pin the recent spike in bankruptcies on any one thing, the stories of those who recently filed into a Florida bankruptcy office suggested a common theme. In many cases, a family faced some sort of crisis that both increased their expenses and bills and made it harder for them to earn a living.
Many people told stories of trying to raise children with special needs or of unexpected medical emergencies that sidelined them from work and left them with large medical bills.
Hopefully, the surge in bankruptcy filings is not a sign of worse things to come for the people of Florida. In any event, though, it is important for residents of this state to remember that many people who work hard wind up in financial trouble for which they will require legal help to escape.