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4-Month High for Consumer Bankruptcies

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Consumer bankruptcies worsened last month, with filings climbing to the highest level in four months. If the trade group for the bankruptcy industry has its way, more consumers will have access to bankruptcy.

New filings made in the nation’s bankruptcy courts came to 68,499 during August. The activity reflected both commercial and non-commercial activity.

Total filings jumped from one month previous, when there were an upwardly revised 62,223. The total was up slightly from an upwardly revised 68,231 in the same month last year.

Last month’s
bankruptcies were reported Thursday by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

At 2.51 total filings per thousand in population, the U.S. per-capital rate
during the first-eight months of this year was slightly higher than 2.49 a month earlier.

Alabama’s 5.73 per-capital rate was highest. Next was Tennessee’s 5.56, then Georgia’s 4.62, Mississippi’s 4.32 and Illinois’ 3.81.

Non-commercial filings accounted for 65,335 of last month’s total. It was the busiest month for the bankruptcy courts since April’s 66,510 filings.

Consumer bankruptcies jumped 11 percent from July’s downwardly revised level. Consumer filings also worsened from the upwardly revised level for August 2017, by 1 percent.

Despite the deteriorating numbers, ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano noted in the report that the trade group wants to make bankruptcy even more accessible for distressed households.

From Jan. 1, 2018, through Aug. 31, consumer bankruptcy filings amounted to
493,630.

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