ALEXANDRIA, Va. — U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings decreased 8 percent to 709,303 nationwide during the first six months of 2011, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). Total consumer filings in June totaled 119,768, a 5 percent decrease from the 126,270 filings recorded in June 2010.

"The drop in bankruptcies for the first half of the year shows the continued efforts of consumers to reduce their household debt, and the overall pull back in consumer credit," said Samuel J. Gerdano, ABI executive director.

The June 2011 filings increased 4 percent from the May 2011 consumer bankruptcy total of 114,803 filings, according to ABI research. The percentage of chapter 13 filings for June also increased by 1 percent from May to 28 percent.