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Bankruptcy Filings Gaining Steam

98,344 consumer bankruptcies filed in February

March 3, 2009

By staff

Borrower bankruptcies continued to climb and are expected to increase further. Legislation currently pending in the U.S. Congress on loan modifications by bankruptcy judges could exacerbate filings.

February bankruptcy filings by consumers reached 98,344 during February, the American Bankruptcy Institute reported today.

Filings jumped from 88,773 during January, the report said. A year earlier, around 76,117 bankruptcies were filed.

ABI -- which says it has more than 12,000 members that include attorneys, judges and lenders -- said it relied on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center for its report.

So far in this year, 187,117 consumer bankruptcies have been filed.

February's total included roughly 68,644 Chapter 7 bankruptcies, up from around 59,182 the previous month. Approximately 29,700 Chapter 13 bankruptcies were filed, climbing from around 29,591 in January.

The institute previously reported that 1,064,927 consumer bankruptcies were filed last year, climbing from 822,590 in 2007. This year, 1,400,000 bankruptcies are projected -- though that outlook could expand depending on pending cramdown legislation.

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