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Bankruptcy filings drop 14 in first half of year
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (7/9/12)--The number of U.S. consumers and businesses filing for bankruptcy dropped 14% during the first half of 2012, on pace with ending the year at the lowest level since before the financial crisis in 2008, according to data from Epiq Systems Inc. and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).

Noncommercial filings during the period totaled 601,184, a 13% drop from 691,902 in the first half of 2011. Commercial filings during the first half of 2012 totaled 30,946, down 22% from the 39,598 filings for the same period in 2011 (Reuters July 5).

Chapter 11 filings were down 12%, to 5,313 filings from 6,070 filings during the first six months of 2011.

The statistics mean that "we are on pace for perhaps the lowest total new bankruptcies since before the financial crisis in 2008," said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. "With sustained low interest rates and weak consumer spending, we expect bankruptcies to stay at relatively low levels through the end of 2012."

June saw 99,057 total bankruptcy filings, an 18% decrease from June 2011's total of 120,698.  Noncommercial filings during the month totaled 94,437, a 17% drop from June 2011.  Total commercial filings were 4,620, a 29% decrease from June 2011. Chapter 11 filings dropped 28% from June 2011 to June 2012, to a total 718 filings.

Credit unions have seen a slight decrease so far this year in the loan delinquencies as a percent of total loans, according to the Credit Union National Association's Monthly Credit Union Estimates for May, the latest data available.

In May 2012, credit unions had 1.44% of total loans as delinquent, compared with 1.42% in April, and 1.44% in March.  In May 2011, the figure stood at 1.62% and fluctuated the rest of the year between 1.58% and 1.60%.


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