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U.S. Courts: Bankruptcy filings continue to rise

BOSTON, MA — Individual bankruptcy filings continue to rise, according to the latest annual report of bankruptcy statistics from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

The report, submitted to Congress as required by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, shows that more than 1.5 million bankruptcy petitions were filed by individuals with predominately nonbusiness debt in 2010. That represents an increase of 9 percent over 2009.

The vast majority of those filings – 71 percent – were under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, which allows debtors to liquidate their assets to distribute to creditors.

About 28 percent were filings under Chapter 13, which allows qualified filers to make installment payments to creditors under a court-approved plan. Only 1 percent were made under Chapter 11, which allows debtors to formulate plans for repaying creditors.

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