My son-in-law, a lawyer specializing in bankruptcies, points me to some rather surprising information: bankruptcy filings in California's Central District (So. California less San Diego county), home to some 19 million people, were down by over 30% in the 12 months ended June 2012. You can see the data in the chart above. Looks to me like things have improved rather decisively in the past year. Well, they've "improved" in the sense that the news is a lot less bad. But that's still welcome progress.