Personal bankruptcy filings sought by Colorado residents climbed 17.2 percent in 2010, up to 31,160, according to a report from the Denver Post. This was an increase from 26,593 the previous year.
“I am as busy as I have ever been,” Bart Balis, a Boulder bankruptcy attorney who has seen numerous cycles during his 40 years in practice, told the newspaper.
However, at the same time consumers were struggling under the weight of their considerable debts, fewer businesses sought protection, the report said. There were 1,349 business filings made in 2010, down from 1,404 the year previous, marking the first decline for this statistic in four years. However, the rate was still considerably higher than that for 2007, the last full year prior to the recession, when just 628 companies filed for bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 filings remained far more prevalent than Chapter 13 protection, the report said. There were just 5,205 of the latter cases, though that was an increase from the 4,143 Chapter 13 filings made in 2009.
Chapter 13 filings are rarer in bankruptcy cases because they are more difficult to qualify for. However, this type of protection may be more desirable to consumers because it allows them to keep their assets as long as they establish a debt repayment plan and make continual contributions to it.