Consumer Payment Card News

Bankruptcy Rises

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Total bankruptcy filings soared by 66% in the first three months of this year compared to the same period one-year ago. During the first quarter total filings hit 193,461 compared to 177,599 for the fourth quarter and 116,771 one-year ago. However, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts filings in the 12-month period ending March 31st, 2006, when bankruptcy cases totaled 1,794,795, the latest figures represented a 61% drop in filings. The 12-month period ending March 31, 2006, included the surge in filings that occurred prior to the October 17, 2005, implementation date of the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.” Based on the latest official figures bankruptcy filings were running about 15,000 per week during the first quarter. However, other tracking firms are suggesting the weekly figures are moving to about 20,000 per week in the second quarter.

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|_2. QUARTERLY BANKRUPTCY FILINGS |
|_. 1Q/06:| 116,771 |
|_. 2Q/06:| 155,833 |
|_. 3Q/06:| 171,146 |
|_. 4Q/06:| 177,599 |
|_. 1Q/07:| 193,461 |
|_2. Source: Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts |

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