What we have seen in our law practice has played out around the country. Namely, as the pandemic moves on the number bankruptcies has fallen to record lows. One after another we have seen familiar firms, lawyers, and vendors that have practiced in the bankruptcy courts close their shops and move on to new jobs due to a lack of filings. In 2021, bankruptcy filings fell to an all-time low. There was a 30% drop from 2020. If you go back to the 2010, the first year of the Great Recession, there were 4 times more bankruptcies filed that year than in 2021. The reason why? Increased government benefits helped countless consumers avoid financial collapse and bankruptcy. Multiple rounds of stimulus checks, child tax credits, unemployment benefits, eviction moratoriums, etc., prevented a catastrophe for many of our friends, families, and neighbors. But with government benefits fully stopped and consumers taking on a record increase of over a trillion dollars in new debt in 2021 it seems that the clock is ticking on another major financial breakdown. Often, consumers are able to hold off on bankruptcy for years until a final triggering event, like an eviction or foreclosure sends them down the bankruptcy path. So what will happen in 2022? Nobody knows, but if you read the tea leaves you see the following; a record increase in debt held by the average family and household, corporate price gouging (also known as inflation) transferring any savings the typical consumer and family has into the pockets of Wall Street, a slowdown in the housing market triggered by the apparently inevitable rise in interest rates, leading to an increase share of household income that is required to pay off even minimum credit card debts are all factors working against consumers in 2022. We don't know if 2022 will be the year of the bankruptcy, but consumers should buckle up because uncertain times are ahead.