Slight uptick in bankruptcy filings

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A sign of tough economic times is the number of personal and business bankruptcy filings.  In the Middle District of Alabama, which includes Montgomery, the number of filings is down compared to last year.  But the numbers are starting to rise.

1,869 people and businesses filed for protection in the first quarter of 2011.  1,901 people filed in the second quarter.

To make matters worse, one agency that helps people with their financial problems is falling on hard times of its own.

The non-profit Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Alabama is funded in part by grants from the government and credit card companies.  As they cut back, the number grants have declined.

The service has laid off counselors, closed offices in Tuscaloosa and Dothan and raised the price for their services.

"We've been here for a long time, and we're going to everything we can to stay around," said Roger Knauff, CEO of the service.  "And there needs to be somebody locally that people can come in and sit down and talk about their money."

Knauff says the agency is accepting donations.  To donate or if you need help with debt issues,  you can call 334-265-8545.  More information is also available on the agency's web site.

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