Consumer Payment Card News

Q1 Bankruptcy

Consumer and business bankruptcy filings imploded during the first quarter, dropping to a record low of 116,771 petitions. The figure was about one-fourth the level of year-ago filings. However, bankruptcy filings rose 30% in the 12-month period ending December 31st. The increase in both the December and March 12-month reporting periods was the result of many debtors filing for bankruptcy before the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005” took effect on October 17st. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Chapter 7 filings rose 25.4%, from 1,141,715 in the 12-month period ending 1Q/05 to 1,432,074 in March 2006. Chapter 13 filings fell 19.5%, to 355,756 in March 2006 from 441,838 in March 2005.

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|_2. Q1 FILINGS |
|_2. (Years Ended Mar 31) |
|_. 1995:| 212,626 |
|_. 1996:| 266,149 |
|_. 1997:| 335,073 |
|_. 1998:| 354,118 |
|_. 1999:| 330,784 |
|_. 2000:| 312,335 |
|_. 2001:| 366,841 |
|_. 2002:| 379,012 |
|_. 2003:| 412,968 |
|_. 2004:| 407,572 |
|_. 2005:| 401,149 |
|_. 2006:| 116,771 |
|_2. Source: U.S. Courts |

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