On This PageDecember 1991, No. 52

Most analysts consider the sustained increase in personal bankruptcies during the last seven years to be like a snow storm in the middle of the summer: it should not have happened.

Personal Bankruptcies in Retrospect
Last Updated: 12/31/91

Many proposed explanations for why personal bankruptcies increased during a period of national economic upswing assume that the upward trend in the number of personal bankruptcy filings during most of the 1980s was countercyclical. However, an alternative explanation is that personal bankruptcies responded to a series of localized economic downturns which took place during the 1980s.