Getting Out from Under - Bankruptcy Filings Tell the Story of This Recession and Its Impact

May 25, 2009

Michael B. Katz, Esq.

Bankruptcy filings are on the rise locally and across the country -- some experts predict 1.5 million people will file this calendar year -- and the end seems nowhere in sight. Local bankruptcy specialists report brisk business, which is in many cases helping to offset losses in volume elsewhere. Meanwhile, the bankruptcy filers' stories are providing clear evidence of the many ways in which the economic downturn is impacting consumers and business owners.

Mike Katz was explaining the origins of the word bankruptcy. It goes back to two Latin words, 'bancus' and 'ruptus,' he explained, noting that the former means a bench or table, while the latter means broken. In ancient times, many businesses were carried out on a bench. If that enterprise failed, or if it was deemed unsound, other merchants would break the bench as a way of conveying that the individual in question was definitely out of business.

Today, said Katz, a bankruptcy specialist with the Springfield-based firm Bacon Wilson, the term has come to connote bench repair much more than it does bench breaking, and in these difficult times, there is a great deal of bench-rebuilding work going on.

Indeed, bankruptcy filings have soared over the past several months, ...

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by: George O'Brien

May 25, 2009

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