Reduced number of bankruptcies a positive sign

In what most are hailing as another sign that the economy is steadily improving, bankruptcy cases across the state of Michigan have dropped. So have filings in the Upper Peninsula.

The Associated Press reported that new filings last year were down 13 percent in bankruptcy courts in eastern and western Michigan. There were 53,000 cases pending at the start of the new year, but that number was lower, too, from a year ago.

Looking back a bit further, new cases in Michigan are down 28 percent compared to 2009.

In the U.P., it’s much the same case. There were 668 cases of all types filed in 2012, down from 782 in 2011, 888 in 2010 and 944 in 2009.

Filings under Chapter 7, the law that covers most personal bankruptcies, make up the vast majority of cases, court records reflect. The other chapters include 11, 12 and 13, which cover various types of business and/or farm bankruptcy or reorganization.

What’s happening in the U.P. and Michigan seems to be reflecting what’s happened nationally. The government says new bankruptcy cases were down 13 percent last year in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories, AP stated.

While a single bankruptcy is one too many, it must be considered good news the numbers continue to inch downward.