Our previous blog post discussed one of the apparent consequences of the 2005 change to the federal bankruptcy law, which made it more expensive to file in most cases. As we talked about on March 5, many people who could use bankruptcy protection to get out from under their debts cannot afford it, so they remain in debt.

The extent that this unfortunate phenomenon is contributing to a report in Buffalo Business First is hard to say. The article notes that bankruptcy filings have dropped around the country in recent years. New filings have become especially rare in western New York, with a 23.3 percent drop in February, compared with February 2014.

The previous month also had a drop of more than 20 percent, year-over-year. Overall, bankruptcy cases have dropped 19 percent in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of New York since the start of 2015.

Observers are not sure about the reason for this trend, which could suggest that there is more than one reason. Some experts say that people are more cautious about taking on new debt following the recent recession, though it would seem that credit card companies would be getting a little looser with new accounts.

In other cases, people may continue to feel there is a stigma about filing for bankruptcy, or fear that they will end up losing their home. But readers remember that bankruptcy is available for most people who have suffered bad financial luck, are struggling with addiction, or simply need a fresh start. And it may be possible to save your home and car as well.