Tampa Bay region sets new bankruptcy record

By Susan Taylor Martin | St. Petersburg Times | December 1, 2009
It’s official. The number of Tampa Bay residents declaring bankruptcy is at an all-time high.
In the fiscal year that ended in September, 28,504 individuals and businesses sought protection from creditors in the Tampa-Fort Myers division of federal bankruptcy court.
That’s a 46 percent jump from last year, and 7 percent more than in 2005, a year that saw a record number of filings nationwide as debtors rushed to court before a tough new bankruptcy law took effect.
Nor is there any sign of a slowdown as Tampa Bay’s unemployment rate sits at 11.7 percent and nearly half of homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth.
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