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Bankruptcy Court to Open Doors July 29

Bankruptcy is one of this decade’s growth industries, so a new U.S. Bankruptcy Court will open July 29 in Warner Center to steer some of the heavy court load away from downtown Los Angeles.

The local Bankruptcy Court, to be staffed by three judges and various clerks, will be located at 21041 Burbank Blvd.

This Warner Center office will be the second Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles County. It will handle all personal and business bankruptcy cases from Thousand Oaks to Sun Valley, and north into the Antelope Valley.

Last year the San Fernando Valley accounted for about 13% of all bankruptcy cases filed in the Central Court District, which stretches from Santa Barbara County to Orange County, said Wendy Webster, spokeswoman with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

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“In Los Angeles we’ve been experiencing an increase in filings” this decade, Webster said, “and this year it’s rising again.” Plans for a new Bankruptcy Court in the Valley were announced three years ago.

Last year 81,677 bankruptcy cases were filed in the Central District of California, up 38% from 59,129 in 1990.

The San Fernando Valley accounted for 10,442 bankruptcy cases filed last year. Through April of this year, 4,752 Valley-based bankruptcy cases have been filed, up 53% from the same period a year earlier, Webster said.

This surge in cases is because bankruptcy has “become the antidote to a bloated credit system,” said Van Nuys bankruptcy attorney Gina Schuffrin.

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Schuffrin is eager to start attending Bankruptcy Court in Woodland Hills. “It is just a headache traveling, with traffic and parking downtown,” she said. The Warner Center court “will be a nice change.”


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