Stats Show Increase in Bankruptcy Filings for Consumers

The number of U.S. bankruptcy filings is reaching new heights.

According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the total number of bankruptcies filed during the first half of this year jumped 14 percent over the same period in 2009. There were 810,209 filings from Jan. 1 through June 30 this year and 711,550 last year.

There have never been this many filings in the first half of a calendar year since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 was created to form more stringent rules for filing.

“Bankruptcy continues to be the last resort for many Americans seeking financial relief from household debt, unemployment and the economic downturn,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano in a statement. “The first half 2010 filings show that bankruptcies are on pace to surpass 1.6 million by year end.”

According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, filings by individuals or households with consumer debt increased 15 percent to 781,150 for the six-month period ending June 30, 2010, from the 2009 first-half total of 681,217. Consumers filing for chapter 7 protection increased 17 percent to 571,417 during the first half of 2010 from 489,128 during the first six months of 2009. Consumer chapter 13 filings increased as well, rising 9 percent as 208,778 consumers filed for chapter 13 in the first half of 2010 from 191,458 during the first half of 2009.

Conversely, however, business bankruptcy filings decreased 4 percent for the six-month period ending June 30, 2010. Specifically, the total number fell to 29,059 from the first-half 2009 total of 30,333. The biggest decreases came from Chapter 11 business reorganizations.

While business bankruptcies seem to be slowing, the increased number of consumer bankruptcies clearly shows that average individuals are still reeling from the economic slowdown.

There are many things to consider when contemplating filing for bankruptcy. It is best to talk to an experienced attorney about your options and the repercussions of taking such an action.

O. Reginald (“Reggie”) Osenton is the Owner and President of Osenton Law Offices, P.A. If you need a Brandon bankruptcy lawyer, Tampa bankruptcy lawyer, or Tampa bankruptcy attorney, call 813.654.5777 or visit

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