Personal finance

How long will bankruptcy filings be down?

I found this press release from the American Bankruptcy Institute very interesting: “Total commercial deposits in Chapter 11 in July 2021 decreased 62% from July 2020, while total commercial deposits decreased by 39% compared to the previous year. The total number of 32,387 bankruptcy filings in July 2021 was down 24% from the total of 42,865 filings in July 2020. Total consumer filings also fell 23% in July 2021. “The efforts of Extensive federal stabilization, lender abstention and continued low interest rates have kept struggling families and businesses afloat during the pandemic, ”said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss.

It will be interesting to see the deposit rates in six to twelve months, or whenever we return to the “new normal”.

On another topic, the Wall Street Journal estimated that the federal government lost about $ 4.8 billion per month due to the freeze on student debt interest accumulation. From April 2020 to the current extension period, January 31, 2022, that could reach $ 105.6 billion. As I like to remind everyone, a billion is worth a billion.

Continuing on the subject of student loan debt and the Biden administration’s ongoing discussions regarding the forgiveness of part of the outstanding student loan debt, it should be noted that Parent Plus loans are not offered to be eligible for such a discount. These are loans that parents take out directly for their children’s education. That said, it should be noted that these loans may otherwise qualify for income repayment plans and government service remission plans for those who qualify. The parents I have spoken with who have taken out these loans don’t seem to mind this. After all, they say, I have decided to invest in my child’s future with my eyes wide open, and no matter what, I am responsible for these loans. It’s an interesting approach to personal financial responsibility!

Following the cancellation of the student loan, I think I should stop reading the letters to the editor of the Wall Street Journal. It seems to me that the majority of personal finance letters relate to possible student loan debt cancellation. Besides, I read them because my brother-in-law has a subscription and keeps them for me. Maybe I need to find a friend who has a New York Times subscription. A recent series of letters in the Wall Street Journal covered several of the issues we’ve discussed often that could help reverse the seemingly perpetual and unaffordable cycle of student loan debt. It is, first of all, the need for colleges and universities to be more accountable to students who graduate and student debtors who will make repayment of these loans within a reasonable time, if not likely. Second, the need to provide students and families with effective tools and resources to enable them to make informed choices about affordability, including which programs at which colleges for that particular student might end in a viable career, considering possible family financial contributions, scholarships, grants, studying in school and potential summer work income, and reducing living expenses, to name a few.

The main idea behind several of the letters was that colleges and universities were relying on hundreds of billions of dollars in endowments, with no “skin in the game,” for 92% of outstanding student loans in this area. countries – so what incentive should they, for example, ensure that students participate in programs that could ensure that they repay and borrow within a reasonable timeframe?

On another topic, people like me who aren’t on any social media platform, and who don’t even text, are particularly sensitive to the many media reports about the extent to which opinions, actions and knowledge of current events are affected by social networks. media. This is why a recent report from, as reported by, definitely caught my attention. “As social media continues to integrate more and more into our lives, a new report reveals that it also has a major influence on our spending, especially millennials (25-40 years old). 72% of Millennials say social media has an impact on their purchasing decisions, followed by 66% of Gen Z (ages 18-24), 49% of Gen X (ages 41) at 56) and 45% of baby boomers (aged 57 to 75). ). When it comes to the type of posts millennials are influenced by in their spending, 38% cited posts from friends and family, 31% said ads, and 20% said they were influenced by posts from friends and family. celebrities or influencers.

On another topic, according to reports from this newspaper and other New York media outlets, health insurance premiums for many of us are rising, as they usually are. It looks like mine will increase by about 4.5%. It’s just another budget item to get under control in this time of inflation – which we hope will be, in fact, temporary, although there seems to be growing doubt about it. That said, with the increase in grocery store prices, in order to keep my budget online, I found myself buying more store brand items, while carefully checking unit prices – how much I pay per ounce, etc. . I don’t know about you, but I rarely find that there is a significant difference in quality, and I know that retailers continually try to minimize any difference in quality because store brands can be very profitable for them.

Finally, given that inflation has been with us for a while, and supply chains are still an issue, it’s time to anticipate what spending is planned for your future and be realistic about whether it will increase. also. For example, I expect this winter’s vacation spending, gifts, receptions, celebrations, and eventual travel, to be higher. If you started this suggested vacation account, formally or informally, after last year’s vacation, you might want to increase the monthly contribution!

John Ninfo is a retired bankruptcy judge and the founder of the National CARE Financial Literacy Program. Find his previous weekly columns at

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