MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Bankruptcy filings in Northern West Virginia are down 20 percent from 2011.Court records show 1,647 cases were filed in the Northern District of West Virginia Bankruptcy Court through November. During the same period in 2011, 2,080 cases were filed.Two bankruptcy lawyers differ on whether the decline is a sign that the economy is improving.Michael Clagett tells The Dominion Post that bankruptcy filings increase when the economy improves. He says people perceive others as doing better financially than they are doing.
John Brooks tells the newspaper that he doesn't believe there's a correlation between the economy's state and the decline in bankruptcy filings. He says many of the cases he sees involve people who have large medical bills, not credit card debt.