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Uptick in Bankruptcy Filings

January new filings up 2% from December

Feb. 6, 2014

By Mortgage Daily staff

The number of consumers who resorted to bankruptcy moved higher last month, though it's been more than three years since filings have risen from a year earlier.

Consumers and businesses filed 68,153 new bankruptcy cases in January, worsening from the 66,502 filings made the previous month. December's filings were revised up from 66,478 originally reported.

In January 2013, there were 78,602 new commercial and non-commercial bankruptcies. The year-earlier figure was revised up from 78,471.

The bankruptcy statistics were reported by the American Bankruptcy Institute, a 13,000-member trade group. The numbers were based on data provided by Epiq Systems Inc.

"High costs to file and sustained low interest rates continue to steer consumers and businesses away from the fresh financial start of bankruptcy," ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano stated in the report. "The year-over-year filing totals have now declined for 38 consecutive months."

As of the first month of this year, the average U.S. per-capita filing rate was 2.64 per 1,000 in population.

The per-capita rate was highest in Tennessee at 5.73. Georgia followed with a 4.96 per-capita rate, then 4.55 in Alabama, 4.07 in Utah and 3.96 in Nevada.

U.S. non-commercial bankruptcy filings accounted for 65,263 of last month's total.

Consumer activity worsened from 63,618 new filings in December. The month-earlier total was revised up from 63,601.

But non-commercial filings were lower than 78,846 in January 2013.The year-earlier figure was revised up from 74,743 originally reported.

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