Consumer bankruptcy filings rose 36.5 percent in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period a year ago, to 675,351, the American Bankruptcy Institute said.

Filings fell 6.8 percent from May to June, to 116,365, ABI said, citing data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

ABI projects that a continuing rise in unemployment, foreclosures rates and health care costs will lead to more than 1.4 million consumer bankruptcy filings in 2009, up from 1.1 million in 2008 and 801,840 in 2007.

Chapter 13 filings — available to individuals with regular income whose debts don’t exceed specific amounts to pay unsecured creditors in whole or in part — constituted 27.7 percent of all consumer cases in June.

***

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