NEW YORK (7/8/11)--Another study confirms that the number of U.S. citizens filing for bankruptcy is declining, although that doesn’t necessarily portend an improving economy, according to a Wednesday article in The New York Times. U.S. bankruptcy filings in June totaled 120,623--an average of 5,483 per day, which is a 6.2% decline from May, when filings were 122,775--or 5,846 per day, according to a report from Epiq Systems, a company that monitors bankruptcy filings. For a related News Now Tuesday article about another bankruptcy report and credit unions, use the link. Compared with filings in June 2010, average daily filings are down nearly 10%, Epiq’s study found. In the short term, access to credit can influence the bankruptcy rates. When lenders tighten their standards, bankruptcy filings usually increase because consumers feeling the pinch no longer can use credit cards or other loans to float them through a rough financial period. When there is a rise in new loans being issued, filings tend to fall--at least for a while, the Times said. Overall bankruptcy filings should drop 5% to 10% this year, leveling at roughly 1.46 million--in large part because consumers have a little more access to credit now than in recent years, Robert Lawless, a University of Illinois College of Law professor who specializes in bankruptcy, told the Times. That estimate compares with roughly 1.56 million filings in 2010 and nearly 1.45 million in 2009. To read the article, use the link.