But since then?
Lawyers’ fees have more than doubled, online “credit counseling” is the norm, and the pace of personal bankruptcies is growing, nearing 2004 pre-reform levels.
“The impact was not much — other than to make it more costly and make more hoops to jump through for anyone filing bankruptcy,” local attorney David Andersen said.... Many families have been wedged between job loss and mortgage.
“I was let go while my husband was still in the hospital with a brain aneurysm,” said Lynnette Tilton, who now works as a legal assistant in attorney David Andersen’s law office. “It was devastating.”
Before disaster struck, life was smooth-sailing, Tilton said.
“We had everything — good-paying jobs, 800-plus credit scores, a mortgage,” she said. “We were able to live comfortably.”
About four years ago, after they were laid off, the Tiltons sought help to save their Southeast Grand Rapids ranch home.
“The mortgage company granted us a couple of forbearance agreements, but they wouldn’t restate our mortgage,” Tilton said.She and her husband lost the house, filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and took a series of part-time jobs, waiting for the local economy to recover. Today, they both work full time and are renting a home they love.