September 30, 2022
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Bankruptcy flood may be just starting

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The flood of bankruptcies pouring from the tri-county region may well pass the high-water mark by year’s end.

The Santa Barbara district of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court — the office that encompasses the tri-county region — saw 4,134 bankruptcy filings from the beginning of 2009 just through September, the last month through which statistics have been tabulated. That’s almost as much as the total 4,745 cases in 2005, when people rushed to file before the national bankruptcy code was overhauled.

Area bankruptcy attorneys can’t remember when they were last this busy.

“It’s unprecedented,” said William Winfield, a partner at Nordman Cormany Hair & Compton in Oxnard. Winfield works with both creditors and debtors in bankruptcy cases and said that since he began practicing, he’s never seen anything like the filing volume he’s seeing this year.

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