In high-tech hubs such as San Francisco and New York, personal bankruptcy filings have risen sharply in the past few months. A few key reasons:
THE DOT-COM HANGOVER
They financed their monied lifestyles on credit cards. Now that they've been laid off from dot-coms, they want to wipe out their $50,000 bills.
STOCK OPTION HELL
They exercised shares without selling them, only to see stock prices crash. Now they owe hundreds of thousands and lack the cash to finance their other liabilities.
Many are scrambling to take advantage of the current consumer-friendly laws, which allow them to wipe out certain debts, before new, stricter laws under way in Congress take effect.