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Consumer Bankruptcies Continue Lower

Filings fall 9% in September

Oct. 3, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

Lower interest rates and weak spending by consumers helped drive down the number of consumer bankruptcy filings last month.

U.S. bankruptcy courts handled 80,645 new commercial and non-commercial filings during September, fewer than the 88,902 bankruptcy filings previously reported for August.

The volume of total bankruptcy activity also was down from September 2012, when a revised 87,599 new bankruptcy filings were made.

The American Bankruptcy Institute released the statistics Thursday based on data collected from Epiq Systems Inc.

Looking at just non-commercial bankruptcies, 77,269 filings were made last month, tumbling from 85,113 in July.

The year-earlier level of consumer filings was a revised 83,543.

During the first nine months of 2013, ABI said non-commercial filings totaled 767,445.

"Sustained low interest rates and sluggish consumer spending since the financial crisis have suppressed bankruptcy filings to 2008 levels," ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano stated in the report. "Some individuals are too broke to afford the cost to file for bankruptcy."

So far this year, 3.45 total bankruptcy filings have been made per 1,000 in population.

For just September, the per-capita rate was 6.74 in Tennessee -- higher than in any other state.

Georgia's 5.90 per-capita rate followed, then Alabama's 5.80, Utah's 5.34 and Indiana's 5.24.

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