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New Hampshire's economic recession has forced record numbers of business and individuals to seek protection from creditors, nearly doubling the case load for US Bankruptcy Court, a report said yesterday. There were 904 new cases filed in the first quarter of 1991, compared with 479 cases in the same period last year. Clerk of Court George Vannah said he has already tripled the size of his staff in the past four years to keep up with the caseload.

Mr. Vannah has also asked the US Department of Justice to assign a second judge to the court. But he said the state is not among 14 jurisdictions that are currently funded in a biennial appropriations bill for a new judgeship.

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At the current rate, the court will end the year with a total of nearly 4,500 bankruptcies filed, up from 2,549 in 1990 and 1,325 in 1989.

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