ALEXANDRIA, Va. — U.S. consumer bankruptcies increased 9 percent nationwide in 2010 from the previous year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).
The data showed that the overall consumer filing total for the 2010 calendar year (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2010) reached 1,530,078 compared to the 1,407,788 total consumer filings recorded during 2009. Annual consumer filings have increased each year since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Prevention Act was enacted in 2005.
“The steady climb of consumer filings notwithstanding the 2005 bankruptcy law restrictions demonstrate that families continue to turn to bankruptcy as a result of high debt burdens and stagnant income growth,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “We expect that consumer filings will continue to rise in 2011.”
The National Bankruptcy Research Center's data also showed that the 118,146 consumer filings recorded in December 2010 represented a 4 percent increase from the 113,274 filings in December 2009. The December 2010 consumer filings also represented a 3 percent increase from the November 2010 total of 114,587. Chapter 13 filings constituted 30 percent of all consumer cases in December, a slight increase from November.