Alexandria, Va. — U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings increased more than 15.2 percent nationwide in February over the previous month, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). Overall consumer filings totaled 76,120 in February, up from the 66,050 consumer filings recorded in January. The figure was also up 37.3 percent from February 2007. Chapter 13 filings constituted 36.4 percent of all consumer cases in February, down slightly from the previous month.

“February's bankruptcy spike — the highest single month since the 2005 law changes — forecasts the start of more to come for the balance of 2008,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano.