Look What’s Happening inWashington

Bankruptcy is on the mind of a lot of jewelers. It’s not their own that’s worrying them, but that of their customers. The number of Americans seeking court protection from creditors soared to 1.4 million last year. That represents one in every 71 households. Over the past two years alone, while the country enjoyed vigorous economic health, personal bankruptcy filings by consumers leaped 60%. For businesses that offer credit, these are alarming figures. “This is costing retailers billions of dollars annually, and jewelers are particularly hard hit,” says Mallory Duncan, vice president and general counsel for the National Retail Federation (NRF). That’s why Jewelers of America, NRF, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), and other retail groups this summer put their active support behind a revision of the consumer bankruptcy laws. Bankruptcies and exemption

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