(U.S. Law) There are several things that Americans fear, and many of these things are legitimately scary. One of the most justifiable fears that individuals have is going broke and having to declare bankruptcy. Most people simply cringe at the idea and will often let themselves go into financial ruin before considering it. It’s important to note, however, that the idea of bankruptcy isn’t as taboo as it once was. This is especially true considering the current economy, and bankruptcy attorneys are also taking notice of this change.
A study conducted by legal website FindLaw.com discovered that around thirteen percent of Americans have contemplated filing bankruptcy at some point. The majority of these individuals were between the ages of 35 and 54, so filing bankruptcy is obviously not just something that young and inexperienced people do.
It’s also important to point out that because of the stigma associated with going bankrupt, it’s possible that some respondents weren’t honest about their bankruptcy contemplation, so it could be that thirteen percent is quite a conservative estimate. Regardless, an atmosphere where the economy is leading to a more accepting view of bankruptcy is going to have certain consequences for the legal profession.
How Changed Views on Bankruptcy Affect the Legal Profession
The main thing that’s going to come out of an increased occurrence of bankruptcies is time constraints being placed on attorneys who handle these issues. Even lawyers who specialize strictly in bankruptcy law are going to have their hands full, as an increasing number of people start to view going bankrupt as a plausible course of action. This means that attorneys are going to have to either increase their staff or find other ways to handle the processes that are essential in their profession, such as using specialized bankruptcy software.
One thing that most attorneys will attest to is the fact that handling a bankruptcy case is a time consuming matter. There is an abundance of tracking, filing and other paperwork that must be completed before these cases see fruition. Most lawyers are equipped to handle small increases in caseloads, but with record breaking numbers of bankruptcies being filed, it’s likely that law firms will have to find constructive ways to manage their time more efficiently.
Bankruptcy should never be taken lightly, but it also shouldn’t be feared when it becomes necessary. Americans are realizing this more and more, and this has caused an increase in the filing of bankruptcies over the years. Unfortunately, this increase is going to end up bogging down those who handle bankruptcies within the legal spectrum. Unless attorneys who specialize in this area find a way to manage their overburdened caseload, it’s likely that the entire system will slow down.