According to a recently-released report from the American Bankruptcy Institute, there were 910,090 bankruptcies filed in 2014. This represented a 12 percent decrease from the 1,032,572 total filings that took place the year before.

This was the fifth year in a row that bankruptcy filings have fallen, and the first time that total filings fell below 1 million since before the economic recession in 2007. The falling number of bankruptcy filings could be a sign that the economy is steadily improving, and experts say that low interest rates and high filing costs are also contributing factors to the decline.

But this isn’t to say that all Americans are in a better place financially than they were a few years ago. There are still hundreds of thousands of Americans who are in over their heads with debt and will depend on the bankruptcy process to regain control over their finances in 2015.

Here are a few examples that suggest that bankruptcy might be a good option:

  • You are facing foreclosure
  • You are unable to meet minimum payments on credit card bills
  • You are unable to make you car payments and are facing auto repossession
  • You are overwhelmed by medical bills that you cannot afford to pay back
  • You are being harassed by creditors and debt collection agencies

If any of these situations sound familiar, you may want to meet with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to discuss your options.

You don’t have to feel embarrassed or ashamed about discussing bankruptcy options with a trusted attorney in your area. While a fewer number of Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2014, the process was still utilized by more than 900,000 people and businesses that were desperate for a fresh start.