ALEXANDRIA, Va. — July consumer bankruptcies decreased 18 percent nationwide from July 2010, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), dropping from 137,698 filing in July 2010 to  113,470 last month. This was the seventh straight month where the number of filings was lower than what was reported for the same period last year.

"The continued decline in consumer bankruptcies in tandem with a sluggish economy is a reflection of the deleveraging of household debts and tightening of consumer credit over the past year," said Samuel J. Gerdano, ABI executive director. "Should these trends persist, we expect to see fewer consumer bankruptcies in 2011 than were filed in 2010."

The July 2011 filings also represented a 5 percent month-over-month decrease from the 119,768 filings in June. Additionally, Chapter 13 filings in July reached 29 percent, a one percent increase from June.