2010 consumer bankruptcy filings hit highest level since 2005
U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings for the first nine months of this year reached the highest level since 2005, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. Data collected by the National Bankruptcy Research Center said filings from January through September totaled more than 1.1 million, up 11% from the same period one year ago. Consumer bankruptcy filings increased 3.3% from August, to 130,329. Chapter 13 filings accounted for 30% of those, also a slight increase from the month previous. The American Banking Institute it expects the number of bankruptcy filings to steadily increase. “We expect that there will be nearly 1.6 million new bankruptcy filings by year end,” said Samuel Gerdano, executive vice president of ABI. Congress enacted the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in 2005 with an aim to decrease bankruptcy filings. According to ABI, the Act isn't working in that capacity as consumer debt has increased since its inception, leading to more consumer bankruptcy filings. Write to Christine Ricciardi.