Bankruptcies Declining in 2011, But Not All Good News

According to today’s report from the American Bankruptcy Institute (-ABI-), U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings in the first half of 2011 were down 8% compared to last year, with a total of 709,303 filed in Jan-June of this year v. 770,117 in the same period last year. For the month of June, total fillings were down 5% YTD, with 119,768 in the month this year v. 126,270 in 2010. Usually its improbable that that all stats will be positive, and this was a case like most others, with June seeing a discouraging 4% spike in consumer bankruptcy filings compared to the month of May. The percentage of chapter 13 filings for June was 28 percent of total filings, a 1% increase from May.

ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano added, “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.”

Most should see the report as another encouraging sign for the country’s recovery prospects, as the ABI report joins several indicators from last week to signal that the economy is gaining momentum. Among last week’s positive data were ISM Manufacturing reports, Small Business Loan Volume, and a lukewarm read on home prices. This week the focus will turn to the job front, with key labor market indicators expected in the coming days.

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