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Bankruptcy Filings Turn Higher

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After falling in September, the number of consumers who filed bankruptcy increased last month. However, the increase is considered an aberration.

The number of bankruptcies filed in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court, including commercial and non-commercial cases, was 89,875 during October.

Filings worsened from the previous month, when a revised 80,668 bankruptcies were filed — fewer than in August. But bankruptcies backed off the total for the same month in 2012, when there were a revised 101,399 bankruptcies.

The monthly statistics were reported by the American Bankruptcy Institute based on data supplied by Epiq Systems Inc.

ABI’s membership includes more than 13,000 bankruptcy professionals who work for lenders, in the judicial system and in academia.

“Despite this aberration, monthly year-over-year filing totals have declined for 35 consecutive months,” ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano said in the report. “We expect the full year total to drop to a level last seen in 2008 as sustained low interest rates and sluggish consumer spending continue to suppress bankruptcy filings.”

ABI reported that 3.45 filings were made per 1,000 in U.S. population during the first 10 months of this year.

Tennessee’s 6.81 per-capita rate was the worst of any state. Georgia’s 5.90 rate followed, then Alabama’s 5.83, Utah’s 5.38 and Indiana’s 5.25.

Zeroing in on just consumer activity, there were 86,331 non-commercial bankruptcies filed last month.

Consumer filings climbed from a revised 77,274 in September. But activity slowed from October 2012, when a revised 96,562 non-commercial filings were made.

From Jan. 1 through Oct. 31, non-commercial bankruptcies amounted to approximately 853,776 filings.

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