Bankruptcy filings on the rise

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- It's tough out there -- no jobs, home values plummeting -- and Americans are reacting by heading to bankruptcy court.

Bankruptcy filings surged 14% during the first half of 2010, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. Filings totaled 770,117 through June, compared to 675,351 during the same period last year.

"Years of rising consumer debt and low savings rates, combined with the housing and unemployment crisis, are causing bankruptcy levels not seen since the 2005," said Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the institute, in a press release.

In 2005 Congress amended the Bankruptcy Code, making it harder for Americans to file and sparking a rush to file by October of 2005, when the amendments kicked in. In 2005, bankruptcy filings totaled more than 2 million.

By comparison, Gerdano expects there will be more than 1.6 million new bankruptcy filings by the end of 2010.

The institute also said that bankruptcies totaled 126,270 in June, a jump of 8.5% from the same month in 2009, when they totaled 116,365.

The institute relied on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center for its information. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,037.97 -42.17 -0.23%
Nasdaq 5,060.25 -31.84 -0.63%
S&P 500 2,108.92 -8.77 -0.41%
Treasuries 1.92 0.01 0.37%
Data as of 8:09am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Applied Materials In... 19.97 -2.20 -9.92%
Apple Inc 132.65 2.98 2.30%
Bank of America Corp... 15.56 -0.08 -0.51%
Microsoft Corp 48.03 0.16 0.33%
Pfizer Inc 34.59 -0.68 -1.93%
Data as of Apr 27
Sponsors

Sections

No customers or employees were in the store when looters broke into it, the company said. It was closed earlier in the afternoon out of caution before the situation turned violent. More

A major earthquake was the last thing Nepal needed. Even before one of the country's major fault lines rumbled to life, the country was beset by challenges. More

A look at each candidate's Facebook strategy shows that Clinton is by far the most-talked about candidate. More

Flavorman's 35-person lab in Louisville, Ky., has developed flavors for clients including Jones Soda, Ocean Spray and Diageo. More

At elite schools across the country, low-income students feel like outsiders and are working to make it better. More