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Bankruptcies could exceed 1.5M this year

Filings highest since 2005 law changes

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More consumers filed for bankruptcy in March than in any other month after Congress overhauled federal bankruptcy laws in 2005, according to a release by the American Bankruptcy Institute. Monthly filings for March reached 149,268, a 34 percent increase from the month before when filings totaled 111,693, and a 23 percent year-over-year increase when consumers submitted 121,413 filings, the institute said. The findings are based on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center. "The sustained economic pressures of unemployment, coupled with high pre-existing debt burdens, are a formula for consumer filings to surpass 1.5 million filings," said Samuel J. Gerdano, the institute's executive director."As consumers continue to look to bankruptcy for financial shelter, annual filings will likely equal those averaged in the years leading up to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005." In 2005, bankruptcy filings exceeded 2 milli...