Personal bankruptcy filings fall by 16% in Massachusetts

The final tally for 2011 is in, and banking industry watchdog The Warren Group estimates that personal bankruptcy filings in Massachusetts dropped 16% compared to the previous year.

That may make 2010 the high water mark for bankruptcy for all time.

The drop was in line with the national figures, which also went down about 16%.

Many will take this as an encouraging sign — that the economic slowdown has finally turned the corner. Lets hope so!

Others may see an “eye of the hurricane” scenario, akin to a double dip recession.

Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of the Warren Group says it best: “The decrease in bankruptcy filings is running parallel with lower unemployment rates in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a big enough improvement in the employment picture to confidently say the economy has completely turned the corner.”

There were 14,716 Chapter 7 bankruptcies filed in Massachusetts last year, down from 17,496 filed in 2010. Chapter 7 of the U.S. bankruptcy code is the most common option for individuals seeking debt relief, and accounted for almost 75 percent of Massachusetts’ bankruptcy filings last year.

Filings under Chapter 13 in Massachusetts dropped 11 percent to 4,813 in 2011, from 5,392 in 2010.


By Doug Beaton

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