After Ike, Dallas Attorney Expects Higher Gas Prices to Spike Bankruptcy Filings; He hopes It Happens "Sooner Rather Than Later"

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Hurricane Ike is raising gas prices which is already hurting the average Joe. Bankruptcy is often put off as an option too long and the problem will only get worse.

I mean how long do you wait until you say it's time to start fresh? When the next hurricane hits the Texas Gulf, or it at $7 or 10 a gallon gas?

"Dallas may have been spared Hurricane Ike's storm surge and battering winds, but make no mistake, we are about to get pounded pretty hard," says Attorney Reed Allmand, partner in Allmand & Lee, based in Hurst, Texas.

Just from Friday through Monday, in Dallas, gas prices have jumped 20 cents to $3.68 a gallon (according to AAA Texas), and further increases are expected as energy companies have halted operations at oil rigs and refineries. Even President Bush warns we are going to feel some "upward pressure on price" because of the storm.

How will this affect "Joe Dallas" who may already be struggling to make ends meet? Allmand believes, "Unfortunately, this will be the proverbial straw on the camel's back." He adds, "The writing is on the wall: we have bankruptcy up 29% from last year, record foreclosures, 5-year high unemployment, a one-day 500 point drop in the Dow, billion dollar companies struggling to survive - and now $4, possibly $5, a gallon gas. For Many Dallas residents, there are simply no more coins to squeeze out of their paycheck. Bankruptcy is inevitable."

Allmand, who is Board Certified in Bankruptcy, says skyrocketing fuel prices are stealing people's food and medicine money because they are faced with having to make an awfully difficult choice: Do I feed my family or buy medicine, or do I pay for gas I need to go to work?

Ultimately, if soaring gas prices are going to force Bankruptcy filings, Allmand hopes it happens quickly, and sooner rather than later. Is it to promote his own pecuniary gain as a Bankruptcy attorney? Allmand says no. "When you're struggling just to meet necessary expenses, you want to quickly stop the bleeding and get a fresh start. Many people will put off filing for Bankruptcy and will stretch out this period of financial difficulty for as long as possible. This is even more harmful. They end up digging themselves deeper into trouble and make it even harder to get out." Instead, Allmand insists people shouldn't be too proud or ashamed to accept Bankruptcy protection.

"I mean how long do you wait until you say it's time to start fresh? When the next hurricane hits the Texas Gulf, or it at $7 or 10 a gallon gas?" Allmand asks rhetorically.

W. Reed Allmand is a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney. He has been practicing for 7 years and has handled more than 3,000 bankruptcy filings. In September, his firm, Allmand & Lee filed 200 bankruptcies. To speak with Mr. Allmand or to schedule an interview, please call (214) 265-0123 ext 225.

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Weldon Allmand


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