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Bankruptcy Filings Climb in October

The number of debtors to file a new bankruptcy worsened last month but continued to improve on a year-over-year basis.

Businesses and consumers collectively filed 78,957 new bankruptcy cases during October. Activity worsened from the 73,317 filings a month earlier.

Compared to October of last year, however, U.S. Bankruptcy courts handled 12 percent fewer new cases in the most recent month.

The American Bankruptcy Institute published the statistics based on data supplied by Epiq Systems Inc.

The prediction for full-year 2014 filings is for at least a seven-year low.

“Low interest rates and high filing costs will drive total bankruptcies for the year below 1 million for the first time since 2007,” ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano stated in the report.

October saw a per-capita rate of 3.03 total filings per thousand in U.S. population.

Tennessee maintained the highest per-capita rate in the nation: 6.32. After that was Alabama’s 5.40, then Georgia’s 5.36, Utah’s 5.02 and Illinois’ 4.82

Bankruptcy filings by consumers accounted for 76,110 of last month’s total bankruptcies, worsening from 70,688 in September.

But non-commercial activity declined from 86,360 a year earlier. Consumer bankruptcy filings have fallen on a year-over-year basis every month so far in 2014.

In the nine months ended Oct. 31, consumers filed 754,710 new bankruptcy cases.

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