Local Consumer Bankruptcies Up 30% - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local Consumer Bankruptcies Up 30%

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TEXAS - The so-called bubble Amarillo has been in seems to be bursting with bankruptcy filings.

So far this year, 346 people have filed for bankruptcy.  We are already about ten percent ahead of where we were about this time last year.

Three major area industries seem to be where most people worked before they were let go....and had to walk into bankruptcy court.

Todd Jolley of Northern Law Firm says, "the three biggest clients we see right now worked in either railroad, the oil field industry or truck driving. That accounts for a large portion of what we see in bankruptcies right now. That's who has been hit harder than others."

Most people who walked into court were not carelessly spending, rather something happened to them beyond their control.

Jolley says, "99% of clients here get to this position because of the economy going down or a job that was lost or medical or divorce."

Last year in the Panhandle region, 880 people filed for bankruptcy.  That is 35% more than 2008.

We are on well on our way to surpassing the 2009 number as some firms are doing around seven more filings per month.

Troy Blackwell of Blackwell Law Firm believes "the numbers will grow."

Despite the growing numbers, blackwell says this area underfiles compared to around the country.

And according to Jolley, it's not all bad.  He says when people are able to clear their debt and wipe the slate clean, they once again have money to put back into the local economy.

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