There were 13,366 businesses and individuals declaring bankruptcy before the San Jose Division of the U.S. Northern California District Bankruptcy Court in 2010. It is a 16 percent increase over 2009 (significantly higher than the 9 percent national average), and observers warn that the trend shows no signs of declining in 2011. “The worst part is that the job situation has not really improved for people here,” says Ike Shulman, past president of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.

Last year’s bankruptcies affected people of all backgrounds, from the affluent, who lost their jobs or saw their businesses crash, to the indigent, who were barely keeping their heads above water in the best of times. Even many people who are working have found jobs at 30 to 50 percent of what they were previously earning.

What jobs are showing promise? Bankruptcy lawyers, who are working round the clock to deal with the increase.

“We have been working six days a week since the summer of ‘08, and we’re turning people away because we can’t absorb the work that is there,” says Cathy Moran, a bankruptcy attorney based in Mountain View. She says that many older people who have lost their jobs and filed bankruptcy have no expectation of ever working in their fields again.
Read More at The Mercury News.