Sure, the politicians and the sales people have been preaching the return of the economy before the economy went from bad to worse, but for the average Joe it's hard to relax after the market we've seen over the past decade. The decline in bankruptcy is a solid sign of sustained growth in the economy.
The numbers are siding with the optimists. Total bankruptcy filings are down when compared to 2013 (dates from May 2012 to May 2013) by an average of 11 percent. What does that mean? People are bringing in the dough and jobs are stable(er). Businesses are seeing a decrease in bankruptcy filings as well. Commercial filings in May 2014 decreased to 3,190, representing a 21 percent decline from the 4,055 business filings recorded in May 2013. That's a big deal since it confirms a long awaited trend.
A major factor at play is thrift, where consumers are spending less of the money that they don't have. Maxing out the credit cards has taken it's toll and consumers are showing that the lesson is learned.
"Bankruptcy filings continue to nose dive in the current environment of sustained low interest rates for business borrowers and lower than expected consumer spending," said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. "As these conditions persist, bankruptcy filings will continue to decrease."
It's not just the sales and political industries who have given their advice to people struggling with credit debt - which can lead to bankruptcy. Oprah and her team put together a detailed Credit Card Debt awareness and self-help video. It's called the "Debt Diet" and urges people to think twice about swiping a card and using unavailable funds. The debt diet highlights stories from people who have dug themselves into a credit hole. Oprah works her magic and helps them get out of debt with tips everyone can use.
Here is a look at how Oprah suggests beginning the debt diet: "Pull out all your bills and print out the chart below to see how much debt you really have. Once you know your total debt, you can start paying it down!"
1: How much debt do you really have?
2: Track your spending and find extra money to pay down the debt
3: Learn to play the credit card game
4: Stop spending
5: Create a monthly spending plan
6: Grow your income
7: Prioritize your debts and increase your credit score
8: Understand your spending issues and save