Federal Reserve Survey Says We are Much Poorer Today

According to a survey released by the Federal Reserve in March of 2011 entitled, Surveying the Aftermath of the Storm: Changes in Family Finances from 2007 to 2009, the average American consumer has lost substantial personal wealth due to the depreciation of their homes, cars, and other financial assets.

Some news sources estimate the downturn in the economy has caused up to 45% asset devaluation. Other notable observations from the survey include:

  • The median family’s net worth fell 23.2% from $125,000 to $96,000
  • The S&P 500 fell 57%
  • The S&P Case-Shiller index of housing prices in 20 cities dropped 32%
  • The unemployment rate for American jobs is 8.9%.
  • The median income has fallen 8.1% in the last decade
  • Gasoline has increased 70 cents a gallon in the last year
  • Food prices are rising at an estimated 12.2%

When net worth declines and expenses rise, it makes it difficult for the average American family to make ends meet. For most American families, any change in their income or a financial crisis can be a recipe for bankruptcy. Personal bankrupt occurs for a variety of reasons including: divorce, catastrophic event, foreclosure, failure to pay bills, loss of income, health problems, poor business decisions, bad timing, bad advice, or a poor economy.

According to the National Bankruptcy Center, consumer bankruptcy filings increased in February of 2011, but the rise has slowed from 2010. The American Bankruptcy Institute Executive Director, Samuel Gerdano, said, “Though consumers are striving to reduce their debt burden, high unemployment and a still-poor housing sector continue to fuel new bankruptcies.”

Personal bankruptcies have fallen 8% since last year. In 2010, bankruptcy filings reached a five year high of 1.6 million. The decrease in filings may have been a result of increased consumer savings, less available credit and increased consumer efforts to pay down debt.

Bankruptcy laws can be complicated. If you need relief from debt and live in or around the metropolitan areas of Greenville, Spartanburg, or Anderson, South Carolina, contact us at www.BankruptcyHome.com . We will help you find a bankruptcy attorney in your area who can answer your bankruptcy questions.

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