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Bankruptcies Soar to Record in 2001
Reuters, Feb 19, 2002

With the economy mired in recession, debt-burdened U.S. consumers and businesses filed for bankruptcy in record numbers last year, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said on Tuesday. The total number of bankruptcies filed during the year jumped 19 percent to 1.49 million from 1.25 million in 2000. That total easily surpassed the previous high of 1.44 million bankruptcies recorded in 1998. Economists have predicted for some time that bankruptcies would reach new highs in 2001 as the recession took a toll on the finances of consumers and corporations alike. And some experts forecast the surge will continue this year. "I think the feeling of most people is that 2002 will be an equally big year," said Sam Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute. A recent, informal poll of ABI members found 93 percent thought filings would keep on rising.