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Have local bankruptcy filings increased year over year?

Bankruptcies in King County and most of the western part of the state are handled through the Western District of Washington U.S. Bankruptcy Court. According to statistics from that court system, the total number of filings for both January and February in King County were less in 2015 than they were in 2014.

The court reports 385 Jan 2014 filings and 449 Feb 2015 filings. For the same months this year, filings were 336 and 319, representing a percent decrease of 12.73 and 28.95 respectively.

Total filings for both of the courts within the Western District -- located in Seattle and Tacoma -- indicated a similar year-over-year trend. Chapter 7 bankruptcies filed in both courts for the first months of 2014 totaled 2112; for the same period in 2015, totals were only 1723. That's a drop of 18.42 percent.

Chapter 11 bankruptcies dropped from 23 to 15, and Chapter 13 filings dropped from 571 to 530. Overall, all bankruptcy filings dropped from 2706 to 2268, or 16.19 percent, from January and February 2014 to the same time period in 2015. It's still early in the year, so these statistics can't really be used to make statements about the state of personal and business finances in the area at this time. However, the consistent drop in filings across the district may bode well for overall economic status.

Even with the drop in bankruptcy filings, there are still families and businesses in the state in need of debt relief. Whether sparked by medical concerns, job loss or another change in circumstances, personal economic struggles are not something to sweep under the rug. Seeking assistance for financial distress now can keep you from even greater problems in the future.

Source: U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Washtingon, "Statistics," accessed April. 06, 2015

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