Personal bankruptcies up 31% in October

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

South Florida continued to see upward movement in the number of bankruptcy filings in October, although new case filings slowed slightly from September.
In the three-county area, personal bankruptcy filings rose 31 percent, to 3,244 from 2,473 in October 2009, but were down 2.6 percent from the previous month.
The number of business bankruptcies for Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties reached 126 last month, up from 119 a year earlier and 115 cases in September.
There were 54 new business bankruptcies in Broward County last month, up from 39 cases last year, and up 13 cases from last month. Personal bankruptcy filings in Broward rose 11 percent to 1,000, year-over-year, but fell 4 percent from September.
Miami-Dade County saw a small dip in business bankruptcy filings. There were 32 new business bankruptcies filed last month, down from 48 last year and 50 in September. Personal bankruptcy filings in Miami-Dade rose 56 percent over last year, to 1,719 cases opened, but fell 5.5 percent from September.
There were 40 new business bankruptcy filings in Palm Beach County in October, up from 32 last year and 24 in September. Personal bankruptcy filings in Palm Beach County rose 11 percent over last year, to 525 cases, and rose 11 percent from September.
The American Bankruptcy Institute reported October consumer filings nationwide totaled 132,173, down 2.75 percent from a year ago, but 1.4 percent more than the nationwide September total.
The 1,222,589 total U.S. bankruptcies filed for the first nine months of the year represented an 11 percent increase over the 1,100,035 cases filed over the same period in 2009, according to data released Tuesday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
Bankruptcies have continued to increase since 2005 changes in federal bankruptcy laws.
“As the economy looks to climb out of the recent recession, businesses and consumers continue to file for bankruptcy to regain their financial footing,” ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano said in a press release. “With unemployment hovering near 10 percent and access to credit remaining tight, total filings in 2010 will likely exceed 1.6 million.”
The 43,016 business bankruptcies recorded during the first three quarters of 2010 represented nearly a 6 percent drop from the 45,510 business filings during the same period in 2009.

South Florida Business Journal - by Paul Brinkmann

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