From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Personal Bankruptcies Soar: The number of filings jumped 24% in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, increasing in every region of the country, government figures show. The year's total was 848,812, compared to 685,429 the previous year. "We don't really see any end in sight in terms of setting new records every quarter," said Judy Kent of the American Financial Services Assn., a trade group for non-banking providers of consumer credit. Filings were up 20% in a Western region that includes California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The highest regional jump was 50% in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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