Bankruptcy often comes as a relief to the people who apply for it. The word is often associated with some sort of failure, but an application is a success after a long road of dealing with creditors and protecting assets at risk. The protection of bankruptcy can help individuals and businesses alike get a fresh start.

Extreme debt ballooned as a major issue in New Hampshire and the rest of the country towards the end of the last decade when the subprime mortgage crisis triggered a global recession. Bankruptcy filings have largely stabilized since then, with student debt and medical expenses causing many of the headaches suffered by debtors in the Granite State.

April 2010 featured more than 500 bankruptcy filings in New Hampshire. That number dropped to 143 in April 2018, but rose again this year to 157 filings, with all but one of those from individuals. Only one business filed for bankruptcy, although three people filed with business-related expenses. It is difficult to understand the larger trend of bankruptcies, as the monthly average this year is still the lowest since 1989.

Filings can be time-consuming processes, often taking months or years, so monthly numbers may simply indicate that more people were successful with older claims. In this way, bankruptcy numbers may show an earlier picture of financial affairs much like other economic data.

People considering bankruptcy may increase their chances of a successful filing by enlisting the help of an attorney. Legal representation offers support in the crucial early stages when forms, disclosures and assets require the most attention.