Arizonans take on more credit card debt to meet living expenses

While many consumers remain optimistic that the economy will recover in 2011, bankruptcies and credit card debt are likely to continue to plague many Americans during the year.

For example, more Arizona residents may be turning to credit card debt as a way to meet monthly bill payments.

Walter Moak, a lawyer from Chandler, Arizona, says this trend contributed to the record number of bankruptcies in 2010, The Arizona Republic reports. Overall, nearly 42,000 protective filings were made during the year, nearly 3,000 more than the previous high the state experienced in 2005.

“We’re finding it’s not letting up,” Moak told the news source. “Incomes have gone down and interest rates on credit cards have gone up, so you can pretty much tell which way we’re heading.”

The Phoenix metropolitan area saw the most bankruptcies, accounting for nearly three out of every four filings that were made statewide, the Republic says. While the numbers are higher than most other state figures, West Coast states have been hit hardest by the recent downturn.

Utah also announced this week that it broke its previous state record for bankruptcy filings.