Bankruptcies in state hit four-year high
There were 2,664 bankruptcy filings in the state in September, 33 percent more than in September a year ago.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The number of bankruptcies in Washington state this year is now at its highest level in four years, and the pace has barely slowed.
There were 2,664 bankruptcy filings in September, 33 percent more than in September a year ago. So far this year, more than 23,000 people have declared bankruptcy in Washington, a nearly 50 percent increase over the same time last year, amid a sluggish housing market and high levels of unemployment. The state's unemployment rate rose to 9.3 percent last month.
The number of businesses declaring bankruptcy in Western Washington — 672 so far this year — has reached its highest level since at least 1997, when 866 businesses sought court relief from creditors.
Washington's national ranking in total bankruptcies has remained steady: Last month it ranked 24th among the states in per capita filings, up from 25th a year ago, according to AACER, a bankruptcy-data and management firm. The state ranked 10th in the annual increase in per capita filings from 2008 to 2009.
King, Snohomish and Pierce counties continue to lead the state in total filings. With 622 filings, King County saw a 50 percent annual increase in filings, the largest growth rate compared with other regions. Filings grew 33 percent in Pierce County and 30 percent in Snohomish County.
Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or email@example.com
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