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Vermont bankruptcies soar in first quarter

first_imgThough some have called the 2008 economic situation bad enough to make it a historical pivot point for the world, 2009 is shaping up to be worse for Vermont, judging by the bankruptcy filings at the United States Bankruptcy Court in Rutland.  In 2008, there were a total of 48 business bankruptcies and 1,218 consumer bankruptcies.  If filings continue apace in 2009, business and consumer bankruptcies will total at 95 and 1,870, respectively. The bankruptcy filings for 2009 to date suggest that the national economic tsunami has reached levels high enough to have a strong effect on the Green Mountain State.The court regularly calculates and posts totals for business and consumer bankruptcies, in Chapters 7 (Iiquidation of most debts and assets except for exempt items), Chapter 13 (like Chapter 7 but involving more voluntary payment of debts), Chapter 11 (reorganization, almost always for businesses but occasionally for an individual) and Chapter 12 (farms). The following calculations are based on the year-end figures for 2008 and the numbers through April 10, 2009, since postings come each Friday at the end of the work week.In 2008, there were a total of 48 business bankruptcies (32 Chapter 7; 11 Chapter 13; 1 Chapter 11; and 4 Chapter 12. If the filings through April 10 were to continue at the same pace through 2009, there would be 95 business filings almost exactly double the 2008 total.Consumer filings were up as well through April 10, but at a somewhat slower rate than shown in 2008. That year saw a relatively high figure for consumer flings 1,218 compared with 812 in 2007 (64 business) and 590 in 2006 (33 business).But if filings were to continue apace in 2009, there would be 1,870 consumer bankruptcies. The grand total would fall short of the 2,000 mark, but not by much: 1,965 for 2009 versus 1,256 for 2008, 876 for 2007 and 623 for 2006.Based on the numbers collected by Vermont Business Magazine, the more recent business filings have tended to involve higher levels of assets and indebtedness, though the court does not calculate figures for these. Possibly this indicates that previously sound enterprises are being pulled under by national forces.One truism regarding the Vermont economy is that events occurring elsewhere have a delayed impact here. The bankruptcy filings for 2009 to date suggest that the national economic tsunami has reached levels high enough to have a strong effect on the Green Mountain State. By Ed Barna, Vermont Business Magazinelast_img read more


How schools can improve their personal finance education

first_imgby: Sheiresa NgoAre high schools doing enough to provide a solid financial education? That answer might depend largely on state and school requirements, but some financial education experts say schools could do better.The lack of a standard personal finance curriculum in America’s classrooms has been a hot topic for quite a while. Right now only four states (Missouri, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia) require that students complete one semester of personal finance as a requirement for graduation, according to the JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. Roughly 17 states require high school students to take classes that incorporate personal finance, according to the Council for Economic Education.The fact that financial education is a necessary component of the school curriculum is quite evident. Charles Schwab’s Teens & Money survey found that roughly 35% of teens do not know how to manage a credit card and 31% do not understand what a credit score is. Furthermore, 22% don’t know how income taxes work and 17% don’t know what a 401(k) is.The Cheat Sheet had a discussion with four personal finance educators about what they think should be part of the high school personal finance curriculum. We spoke with Matt Paradise, vice president of Massachusetts JumpStart Coalition, Christopher Hensley, president of the Houston-Midtown Chapter of The Society for Financial Awareness, Sabrina Lamb, founder of World of Money, and Victor Ricciardi, finance professor at Goucher College and co-editor of Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more