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THE SURGE

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More than 400,000 personal bankruptcies were filed during the second calendar quarter of 2001, the highest number ever filed in one quarter. The surge is partially driven by impending legislation to change the bankruptcy laws. According to data released last week by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, a total of 400,394 petitions were filed between April 1 and June 30 of this year, a 24.5% increase over the 321,729 cases filed in the same period last year. Since the first of this year, 767,235 petitions have been filed. Given the impending bankruptcy reforms and rising unemployment, the total number of bankruptcies for 2001 could approach a record 1.5 million. For the 12-month period ending June 30, bankruptcy filings rose 8.6%, from 1,276,922 to 1,386,606. The total bankruptcy figures include 36,910 and 37,135 business bankruptcies for the 12 month periods ending June 30 of 2000 and 2001, respectively.

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