Another sign of the down economy. According to real estate publisher the Warren Group, personal bankruptcies rose 8.5 percent last year.
The group's Vincent Valvo said that many people are struggling to pay even their most basic bills.
"This is not people necessarily who have overloaded themselves on credit card debt, or necessarily even on housing debt. It's people who for one reason or another, cannot pay their bills," Valvo said.
"That could be medical costs that have risen on them, but they can't pay the medical costs because they or their spouse has lost their job, or they've been cut back, or they've been on unemployment."
Valvo said that without a turnaround in unemployment, bankruptcies could keep rising this year.
This program aired on January 27, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.