Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings rise in Massachusetts
Massachusetts filings for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the most common option for individuals who want relief from their debts, rose 16 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, and they were 7 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 2008, the Warren Group said.
Headquartered in Boston, the Warren Group publishes Banker & Tradesman, and it also tracks local real estate and bankruptcy data.
Massachusetts filings for Chapter 13, which requires debtors to arrange for a three- or five-year debt-repayment plan, fell 39 percent in the first quarter of 2009 versus the first quarter of 2008, said the Warren Group, which added that Chapter 7 filings accounted for 82 percent of bankruptcy filings in Massachusetts in the first quarter of 2009.
There were 3,285 filings under Chapter 7 of the US bankruptcy code in the first three months of 2009, up from 2,833 during the first quarter of 2008, the Warren Group said.
“The recession is taking a toll on consumers who have had their incomes slashed but still face piles of unpaid bills. Sadly, more and more people are attempting to wipe away their debt through bankruptcy,” Timothy M. Warren Jr., chief executive of the Warren Group, said in a statement.
The Warren Group's press release added, "Chapter 7 filings fell dramatically in 2006 after a federal law went into effect that tightened the requirements for filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection."
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)