Uh Oh

Bankruptcies Rose in 2009

Personal bankruptcies rose by nearly a third in 2009, largely due to home foreclosures and unemployment. Bankruptcies hit 1.41 million last year, up 42 percent from 2008. Also, more people are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which liquidates assets to pay off some debts and absolves the filer of others, despite the fact that a 2005 overhaul of bankruptcy laws aimed to encourage more Chapter 13 filings, which force consumers to agree to debt-repayment plans in exchange for keeping some assets.