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Despite low unemployment claims, many still face bankruptcy

Recent reports indicate that the week ending on Jan. 24 saw the fewest unemployment applications since April 2000. However, the data may be skewed by the fact that the Martin Luther King holiday occurred at the beginning of that week. Even though claims dropped to 265,000 across the country, many of those people -- some of which may be here in New Jersey -- may be considering bankruptcy due to unemployment.

An economist from RBS Securities, Inc. expressed his opinion that,based on the data, there is nothing wrong with the economy at present. In fact, he argues that nearly everything is going right. Those people in New Jersey who are out of work and struggling to support their families may disagree. Considering that the data focuses on new unemployment claims, it fails to account for people who are still unemployed or underemployed across the United States.

Companies may be planning to hire more people in 2015, but it is unknown whether the new hires will compensate for any layoffs that may have occurred during the recession. Granted, the fact that things appear to be improving may provide some encouragement for those who are overwhelmed by debt and struggling to get by each month. However, until people feel their families are back on track financially, the data may seem insignificant to them.

Filing for bankruptcy could be the vehicle by which a struggling family gets back on track. The ability to obtain a fresh start financially often feels like a gift since filers enjoy the time and space they need to restructure their finances in order to successfully move forward with confidence. The process can be complex, however, and it may be beneficial to seek the advice and assistance of someone familiar with the process.

Source:, "Jobless claims in US plunge to 15-year low in holiday week", Jan. 29, 2015

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