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New Jersey consumers regaining economic confidence

New Jersey residents seem to have some confidence that their personal economic forecast is at least stable. A new survey by FDU PublicMind shows that 52 percent of state residents are entering 2013 with their finances in about the same spot as in 2012.

Other parts of the survey showed that approximately a fifth of respondents think they are doing better while a third feel their financial picture is worse. When asked about Hurricane Sandy, about 33 percent say they were affected, and a third of those respondents feel issues related to Sandy will continue into this year. Another third of respondents say they are having difficulty paying their credit card debt. Interestingly, this number is the same as it was for 2011.

Unemployment is a darker spot. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they experienced a job loss or knew someone who did last year. A large number of those who are employed are concerned that they could face a job loss this year. Views on housing are looking up, with nearly half of the respondents believing home values will increase in 2013. About 38 percent feel housing prices will fall this year.

The economic recovery has been slow. Many people are finding themselves in debt and wondering if there’s an end in sight. A bankruptcy attorney may be able to review a person’s finances and recommend whether or not discharging debt through the courts is a viable solution. There are generally two solutions for individual bankruptcy: Chapter 7 usually wipes away all unsecured debt, and Chapter 13 allows for payment of a percentage of the unsecured debt with the oversight of a trustee.

Source:, “Many NJ Residents Treading Water Financially,” David Matthau, Jan. 28, 2013

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