Through the end of November, bankruptcy filings in the Western District of New York continue to decline, off 20% from the first eleven months of of 2010. Rochester’s share of filings are down slightly more – 21%, with Buffalo’s filings down 19%. This follows a 10% decline in WDNY filings in 2010, compared to 2009.
While the 2010 decline was unusual compared to most of the country, the 2011 drop reflects a national trend. According to the Wall Street Journal (blog by Sara Murray dated 11/2/2011), consumer bankruptcies for teh first ten months of this year are down nationally nearly 20% from a year earlier.
2,302 bankruptcy cases were filed by the end of November in Rochester. The last time fewer cases than that were filed by the end of November in our division was twenty-three years ago – 1988. Buffalo cases have declined to a level last seen in 1995 (4,287 thru 11/30.)
By my calculations, bankruptcies have also dropped significantly in the Northern District of New York. For example, 2,540 cases had been filed in the Syracuse Division of NDNY thru 11/30/2011, compared to 3,082 in 2010, a drop of 17.6%.
At this level of filing, and with the federal judiciary under pressure to save money, it would be logical that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals might be holding off appointing a new bankruptcy judge in Rochester. The latest rumor that has come our way is the possibility that Syracuse bankruptcy judge Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz might be transferred to the Rochester judgeship.