Personal bankruptcy petitions in July declined nearly 7% from June and were only up 2% over year-ago levels. The surprise softening was the first since February when it became evident that bankruptcy reform legislation was going to pass Congress. However, year-to-date filings will exceed the one million mark this month. The July year-over-year increase was less than 3,000 filings. Slightly more than 136,000 filings were made during July, compared to 133,390 for July 2004 and 145,946 in the prior month. New bankruptcy laws take effective October 17th. In the first seven months of this year, there have been 963,686 personal bankruptcy filings.