Bankruptcies Hit Record in Michigan

Peronal bankruptcy rates in Michigan hit a record high in 2004, up 2.3 percent from 2003 and nearly 40 percent higher than the rate from just three years ago. Here’s a story on it from the Detroit News. And here’s another from the Detroit Free Press.

The Free Press story points out that, at the same time, the national bankruptcy rate declined by 2.6 percent during the 12 month period ended September 30, 2004. Here’s a little of the Free Press story:

“The credit-card industry will have you believe people plan to go into bankruptcy (while running up big balances). But for most it’s a last resort,” [bannkruptcy attorney Walter A. Metzen] said. “They just want the phone calls to stop.”

Medical debt, meanwhile, is responsible for half of all personal bankruptcies, according to a Harvard University study released this month. Even families with medical insurance often couldn’t cover out-of-pocket expenses, researchers found.