U.S. Bankruptcy Filings up 40% and Climbing

Consumer and business bankruptcy filings for the first three quarters of 2007 have eclipsed those reached for all of 2006, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

The 623,399 total U.S. Bankruptcies filed through Sept. 30, 2007 represented a
40.2 percent increase over the 444,789 cases filed over the same period in 2006.

Filings by individuals or households with consumer debt increased 40.2 percent to 603,139 for the nine-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007. That’s up from 430,364 filings during the same period in 2006.

Business filings for the nine-month period totaled 20,260, a 40.5 percent increase over the 14,425 filings over the same period last year.  Chapter 7 business liquidations totaled 13,290, a 57.6 percent increase.

"Bankruptcies are up sharply from a year ago this period, reflecting a growing vulnerability in household economics," Samuel J. Gerdano, executive director of the Alexandria, Va.-based American Bankruptcy Institute, says in a news release. "The continued stress on the housing market will likely fuel a continuation of this trend into 2008."