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Positive Bankruptcy Trend Developing

113,470 filings in July

Aug. 2, 2011

By staff

As Americans move to increase personal liquidity, fewer are becoming bankrupt.

U.S. consumers filed 113,470 bankruptcies in July, according to statistics reported by the American Bankruptcy Institute. Activity eased from 119,768 filings reported for June.

ABI previously reported that bankruptcies totaled 137,698 in July 2010. There have been seven consecutive months of year-over-year improvement.

Year-to-date July 31, consumers have filed 822,773 bankruptcies, an improvement from 907,815 at this point last year. ABI projects full-year 2011 filings will amount to fewer bankruptcies than the 1,530,078 filed during all of 2010.

The trade group's more than 13,000 members include attorneys, lenders and judges. Also among their ranks are accountants, bankers and professors as well as turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals.

ABI's findings are based on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

July's decline in bankruptcies came as government data Tuesday indicated that consumers cut spending and increased savings in June. The news had the stock market reeling.

"The continued decline in consumer bankruptcies in tandem with a sluggish economy is a reflection of the de-leveraging of household debts and tightening of consumer credit over the past year," ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano said in the report.

Chapter 13 payment plans accounted for 29 percent of last month's total consumer bankruptcies. That amounted to around 32,900 Chapter 13 filings, easing from approximately 33,500 in June.

During the same month in 2010, Chapter 13 bankruptcies were roughly 38,600.

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