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Bankruptcy filings in Mass. fell 16% last year

Personal bankruptcy filings in Massachusetts fell 16 percent in 2011 when compared with 2010, the Warren Group reported today.

Last year, there were 14,716 Chapter 7 bankruptcies filed in the Bay State, down from 17,496 filed in 2010, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks bankruptcy and real estate activity

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According to the Warren Group, Chapter 7 of the US bankruptcy code is the most common option for individuals seeking debt relief, and accounted for almost 75 percent of Massachusetts’ bankruptcy filings last year.

In the fourth quarter, 3,158 filers statewide sought bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7, compared with 4,008 in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“I’m encouraged by the drop in bankruptcy filings,” Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a statement. “The decrease in bankruptcy filings is running parallel with lower unemployment rates in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a big enough improvement in the employment picture to confidently say the economy has completely turned the corner.”

Chapter 11 filings, which are used for business bankruptcies and restructuring, also declined.

“Filings decreased 9 percent to 215, down from 237 in 2010,” the Warren Group said.

Chris Reidy can be reached at
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