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Published: Saturday, 8/4/2007

Bankruptcy filings rise 59% in northwest Ohio

Bankruptcy filings in northwest Ohio rose 59 percent from a year earlier last month, and national filings rose 38 percent.

Cases for the 21 northwest Ohio counties covered by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Toledo climbed to 512 in July, and the year-to-date total is 3,325, up from 1,954 a year ago.

Nationally, cases are up 50 percent this year from last year, according to private research company Jupiter eSource LLC.

Except for June, filings in the local court were above 500 the past five months; prior to that, they were mostly 300 to 400 a month, down sharply from two years ago when more than 1,000 people filed each month and 5,540 filed in the month before a reform law made it tougher and more expensive to file for protection from creditors.

Court officials attributed the development to the region s sagging economy and the new law.

Nationally, almost 307,000 bankruptcies were filed in the first seven months, the Jupiter firm said. Reorganizations accounted for 3,400 filings, up 20 percent from a year earlier.

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