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Consuming Interests

Fewer American consumers filing for bankruptcy

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts reports that business and personal bankruptcies have fallen in the past year by 8 percent over the year before.

Maybe the drop off occurred because the most desperate businesses and consumers have already filed.

For the past 12 months ending Sept. 30, a total of 1,467,221 individual and companies filed for relief from creditors. Most of those — 1,417,326 — are personal bankruptcies.

In comparison, 1,596,355 bankruptcies were filed for the 12-month period last year. Of those, 1,538,033 were personal bankruptcies.

Chapter 7 filings, in which businesses and consumers wipe out all debt, reached 1,036,950 this year, a 10 percent decrease from last year. Chapter 13 filings, in which consumers agree to a repayment plan, fell 4 percent to 434,839 in the past 12 months.

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