According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits increased more than expected last week. The Labor Department reported that initial unemployment insurance claims rose to 551,000 from 534,000. Analysts had expected that unemployment claims would only rise to 535,000.
“Economists closely watch initial claims, which are considered a gauge of layoffs and an indication of companies’ willingness to hire new workers…Economists forecast that report will show the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent from 9.7 percent in August. Most economists expect the rate to top 10 percent by early next year.”
The real unemployment picture is that everyone is not being counted. The numbers that show on the official unemployment rate are only those people who qualify and applied for unemployment insurance benefits. What the labor department fails to mention is that there is another class of people who do not qualify for unemployment insurance benefits and/or who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and are no longer being counted. Plus, many people have chosen part-time jobs that barely pay for their basic living expenses because they’re left with little choice in the matter. Those are the people who are falling through the cracks. Those individuals are facing foreclosure and other creditor actions while they suffer with little or no income. But what they don’t realize is that now may be the perfect time to file bankruptcy and discharge most if not all of their debts. The bankruptcy court will count/average the income a debtor earned six months prior to filing bankruptcy to determine the debtor’s monthly income and their eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Therefore, even if a debtor earned a six figure income in 2008 and has been earning little more than minimum wage since 2009, they may still qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Speak with your Dallas-Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney to find out how your current income affects your bankruptcy options.