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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Personal Bankruptcy Filings increase 9% compared to May 2009

by Calculated Risk on 6/02/2010 05:48:00 PM

From the American Bankruptcy Institute: May Consumer Bankruptcy Filings up 9 Percent from Last Year

The 136,142 consumer bankruptcies filed in May represented a 9 percent increase nationwide over the 124,838 filings recorded in May 2009, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). NBKRC’s data also showed that the May consumer filings represented a 6 percent decrease from the 144,490 consumer filings recorded in April 2010. ...

“While consumer filings dipped slightly from last month, housing debt and other financial burdens weighing on consumers are still a cause for concern,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Consumer filings this year remain on track to top 1.6 million filings.”
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

Based on the comment from Gerdano, it appears the ABI has increased their forecast to over 1.6 million filings this year from their earlier forecast of just over 1.5 million filings this year.

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

I wonder how many of these bankruptcy filings are by homeowners who lost their homes in foreclosure and are now trying to extinguish any related recourse debt (1st or 2nd)?