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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Period of Liquidation

News in the Wall Street Journal this morning reminds us that our country is in an accelerating period of liquidation:

 Through September 2009  approximately 1.4 M bankruptcies filings were received by United States Bankruptcy Courts.  Western Washington accounted for 22,450 of those filings.  Whatcom County continues to show increases in bankruptcy volume. 62 bankruptcies were filed in January 2010 vs. the 53 filed in January 2009.  Monthly bankruptcy filings generally increase toward Summer. (Last July, 79 bankruptcies were filed in WC.)  Many bankruptcies are "household bankruptcies" , which makes even relatively small numbers significant predictors for total sales in retail, housing, etc.  To understand this, you can imagine how a sustained rate of 1000 household bankruptcies per year would effect a county with less than 200,000 occupants (like Whatcom County). The effect of having 10% of your households in recovery from bankruptcy after a five year period would be disastrous. That being said, many experts recommend not waiting to file for bankruptcy if you are in trouble. Help on filing for bankruptcy can be found at:

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