Personal bankruptcy soared in '80

When the 1980 personal bankruptcy filings are totaled, the number will probably double the previous record of 265,596, set during the recession year of 1975. And many of the filings, alarmed credit industry officials say, are unnecessary.

For example, a credit executive of a major retail chain recently developed a "profile" that shows that the typical bankrupt customer has had an account with the chain for six years, has never been more than 60 days delinquent, and may have never even received a past-due notice.

In contrast, studies of bankrupt customers in previous years have shown that half were already listed in bad-debt files and half were d elinquent 120 days or more before filing.

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