Bankruptcy is on the rise in West Virginia. Bankruptcy filings soared to a record 6,326 in southern West Virginia last fiscal year, while the number of debtors seeking protection from creditors jumped nearly 17- percent in northern counties.
Filings in the southern district of U.S. Bankruptcy Court during the 12-month period ending June 30 broke the previous record of 6,162. The total was 10-percent higher than the previous year.
The southern district covers 23 counties and includes Charleston and Huntington. Meanwhile, bankruptcy filings in the northern district rose from 3,999 to 4,663.
That district covers 22 counties and includes Wheeling and Morgantown.
Some bankruptcy specialists attribute the increase in filings to an economic slowdown.
Other specialists say the increase was a result of debt taken on during the booming 1990s.