PERSONAL FINANCE/JOHN NINFO: How long will bankruptcy filings be down? –

I found this press release by the American Bankruptcy Institute very interesting: “Total commercial chapter 11 filings in July 2021 decreased 62 percent from July 2020, while total commercial filings decreased 39 percent from the previous year. The 32,387 total bankruptcy filings in July 2021 were down 24 percent from the 42,865 total filings in July 2020. Total consumer filings decreased 23 percent in July 2021 as well. ‘Extended stabilization efforts by the federal government, lender forbearance 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 filing rates six to 12 months out, or whenever it is that we get back to the “new normal.”

On a different subject, the Wall Street Journal estimated that the federal government has lost approximately $4.8 billion a month from the freeze on the accrual of student loan debt interest. From April 2020 through the current extension period, Jan. 31, 2022, that could be as much as $105.6 billion. As I like to remind everyone, a billion is 1,000 million.

Continuing on the subject of student loan debt, and the continued discussions by the Biden Administration surrounding forgiving a portion of student borrowers outstanding debt, it should be noted that Parent Plus Loans are not proposed to be eligible for such forgiveness. These are loans that parents take out directly for their children’s education. That said, it should be noted that these loans can otherwise be eligible for income repayment plans and public service forgiveness plans for qualifying individuals. Parents who I have spoken with who have taken out those loans don’t seem to be bothered by that. After all, they say, I decided to invest in my child’s future with my eyes wide open, and no matter what, I am responsible for those loans. That’s an interesting take on personal financial responsibility!

Following up on student loan forgiveness, I think that I have to stop reading the letters to the editor in the Wall Street Journal. It seems to me that the majority of personal finance related letters are about the possible forgiveness of student loan debt. By the way, I read them because my brother-in-law has a subscription and saves them for me. Perhaps I need to find a friend who has a subscription to The New York Times. A recent set of letters in the Wall Street Journal focused on several of the issues that we have often discussed, that …….


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