American Bankruptcy Institute says first-quarter filings rose as households creak under heavy debt load.
NEW YORK – The number of individuals filing for bankruptcy surged during the first-quarter as American households struggled to stay on top of debt, according to a report released Wednesday.
The American Bankruptcy Institute said that consumer bankruptcy filings increased 27% nationwide in the first three months of the year, compared with the same period last year. In March alone, 86,165 individuals filed for consumer bankruptcy – a 13% increase over the 76,120 cases filed in February.
“Bankruptcies are rising due to the heavy burden of household debt and growing mortgage problems,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “We expect this trend to continue through 2008.”
The ABI found that nearly 32% of all consumer bankruptcy cases were Chapter 13 filings, which is available to individuals with regular income and calls for budgeting some of the debtor’s future earnings to pay off creditors.
April 2, 2008: 12:15 PM EDT
Source: CNN Money