Monday, January 03, 2011

Consumer Bankruptcy Filings increase 9% in 2010

by Bill McBride on 1/03/2011 07:09:00 PM

From the American Bankruptcy Institute: Consumer Bankruptcy Filings increase 9 percent in 2010

U.S. consumer bankruptcies increased 9 percent nationwide in 2010 from the previous year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The data showed that the overall consumer filing total for the 2010 calendar year (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2010) reached 1,530,078 compared to the 1,407,788 total consumer filings recorded during 2009. Annual consumer filings have increased each year since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Prevention Act was enacted in 2005.

“The steady climb of consumer filings notwithstanding the 2005 bankruptcy law restrictions demonstrate that families continue to turn to bankruptcy as a result of high debt burdens and stagnant income growth,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “We expect that consumer filings will continue to rise in 2011.”
This is slightly below ABI's forecast for 1.6 million filings last year. The following graph shows the annual consumer bankruptcy filings based on data from the U.S. Courts (and the ABI for 2010).

Bankruptcy filings