Bankruptcy filings in Hawaii dipped last month, led by a nearly 4 percent drop in Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation cases.
The 288 total filings were down 1 percent from 291 a year ago.
Chapter 13 filings, which homeowners can use to prevent a foreclosure, increased nearly 14 percent to 58. Chapter 13 is for personal bankruptcies in which a wage earner can work out a repayment plan with lenders over three to five years.
Bankruptcy filings in February decreased from a year ago:
» Chapter 7: Liquidation
Source: U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawaii
"People come to see me, very often, because they’re going to be foreclosed upon," said Lisa Volquardsen, a Kona-based bankruptcy attorney.
"Banks don’t want to" modify loans because "it is costly and takes a lot of resources. … The banks created the situation, and they should do something to get people out of this mess," said Volquardsen.
The federal government’s efforts to reduce foreclosures "hasn’t worked out … and this comes from a person who supports (President Barack) Obama," said Ry Barbin, an attorney specializing in bankruptcies and financial workouts. "As long as we’ve got these foreclosures, I really don’t see the economy coming back."
No businesses filed for Chapter 11 reorganization last month, but two neighbor island businesses, Big Island-based Typhoon Security Technology Inc. and Maui-based A Tropical Enhancement Landscape LLC, filed for Chapter 7.