Personal bankruptcy filings up 7.8% as trend continues


Friday, November 14th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


WASHINGTON (AP) _ The record-setting pace of new personal bankruptcies continued in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, with their number rising 7.8 percent, according to data released Friday.

Personal bankruptcies jumped to 1,625,813 from 1,508,578 during the same period a year earlier, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts data show.

The upward trend had been expected to continue despite signs of recovery in the economy and as effects still linger from the consumer spending binge of the 1990s. The rate of bankruptcies generally lags other economic indicators.

The bankruptcy filings ``are being overwhelmingly driven by individuals with household debt,'' said Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, a group of bankruptcy judges, lawyers and experts. ``They do reflect the buildup of heavy consumer debt.''

The total number of bankruptcy filings, including both personal and business, has grown by 98 percent, to 1,661,996 in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, from 837,797 during the same period ending Sept. 30, 1994.