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Monday, April 04, 2011

Consumer Bankruptcy filings decrease in Q1 2011

by Calculated Risk on 4/04/2011 04:24:00 PM

From the American Bankruptcy Institute: First Quarter Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Fall 6 Percent from 2010

Consumer bankruptcies for the first quarter of 2011 (Jan. 1 – March 31) decreased 6 percent nationwide from the same time period in 2010, 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 first three months of 2011 (Jan. 1-March 31) reached 340,012, down from the 363,215 consumer filings recorded for the first quarter of 2010.

“Though bankruptcy filings are still elevated, consumers continue to take steps to reduce debt levels and shore up their finances,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As a result, we now expect that consumer bankruptcy filings will dip below the 1.5 million filings recorded last year.”
non-business bankruptcy filings Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

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

Note: The spike in 2005 was due to the so-called "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005". (a good example of Orwellian named legislation).

It is possible that consumer bankruptcy filings peaked in 2010, but they will probably stay elevated for some time.