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Bankruptcies top 1.5 million in 2010

By Charles Riley, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The number of Americans filing for bankruptcy in 2010 ticked up 9% over the previous year to more than 1.53 million, industry groups said Monday.

The number of consumers filing for bankruptcy has increased each year since 2005, when bankruptcy laws were revamped, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

The 2010 figure far outpaces the 1,407,788 total consumer filings that were recorded during 2009, a trend that the American Bankruptcy Institute attributes to high debt and a stagnant economy.

"The steady climb of consumer filings notwithstanding the 2005 bankruptcy law restrictions demonstrate that families continue to turn to bankruptcy as a result of high debt burdens and stagnant income growth," ABI Executive Director Samuel Gerdano said in a statement.

December was a particularly bad month for consumers, with 118,146 total filings, an increase of 3% over November's level. That increase may become typical.

"We expect that consumer filings will continue to rise in 2011," Gerdano said. To top of page

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