Friday, July 02, 2010

Personal Bankruptcy Filings up 14% in first 6 months of 2010

by Bill McBride on 7/02/2010 01:45:00 PM

From the American Bankruptcy Institute: Consumer Bankruptcy Filings up 14 percent through First Half of 2010

U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings totaled 770,117 nationwide during the first six months of 2010 (Jan. 1-June 30), a 14 percent increase over the 675,351 total consumer filings during the same period a year ago, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The consumer filings for the first half of 2010 represent the highest total since 2005, when Congress enacted the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act to try and stem the tide of filings, although the number of monthly consumer filings has been steadily decreasing since March.

"Years of rising consumer debt and low savings rates, combined with the housing and unemployment crises, are causing bankruptcy levels not seen since the 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code," said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. "We expect that there will be more than 1.6 million new bankruptcy filings by year end."

The overall June consumer filing total of 126,270 was 8.5 percent more than the 116,365 consumer filings recorded in June 2009.
non-business bankruptcy filings Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the non-business bankruptcy filings by quarter using monthly data from the ABI and previous quarterly data from USCourts.gov.

Excluding 2005, when the so-called "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005" was enacted (really a pro-lender act), the record year was in 2003 when 1.62 million personal bankruptcies were filed. This year will be close to that level.