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Bankruptcies Fall

July total filings 2 percent lower than June

Aug. 5, 2012

By staff

Fewer borrowers resorted to bankruptcy last month than a month earlier and a year earlier. The year-to-date U.S. per-capita rate eased in July, and the state with the worst per-capita rate is the same state with the worst year-to-date foreclosure rate.

July saw 92,560 non-commercial bankruptcy filings. Including another 4,513 commercial bankruptcies, total U.S. bankruptcy filings added up to 97,073 last month.

A month earlier, there were a revised 94,441 non-commercial bankruptcy filings.

The latest data from the American Bankruptcy Institute, along with previously reported numbers, indicated that both non-commercial filings and overall filings were 2 percent lower than in June.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, however, increased to 599 from the prior month's 543.

An accompanying quote from ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano's echoed his comments from last month.

"The July filings continue to reflect the effects of sustained low interest rates and weak consumer spending," he said. "We are still on pace for perhaps the lowest total new bankruptcies since before the financial crisis in 2008."

A year-earlier, a revised 104,373 non-commercial bankruptcies were filed.

ABI, which has more than 13,000 members with bankruptcy specialties, gets its statistics from Epiq Systems.

Total non-commercial filings for the seven months ended July 31 amounted to 693,744.

During the first seven months of this year, there were 4.04 total bankruptcy filings per 1,000 people. In June, the year-to-date per-capita rate was 4.08 filings for each thousand people.

Nevada's seven bankruptcy filings per 1,000 people was the worst of any state. Nevada also had the worst first-half 2012 foreclosure rate of any state: one foreclosing filing for each 57 housing units. The U.S. rate during the same six months was one foreclosure filed for each 126 housing units.

A per-capita bankruptcy rate of 6.97 per thousand in Tennessee landed it in the No. 2 position, followed by Georgia's 6.46 rate, Utah's 6.06 and Alabama's 5.89.

Total U.S. bankruptcy filings per day for July were 3,131, slowing from 3,554 a year previous.

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