Bankruptcy filings jump by a third in 2008


U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings jumped by 33% in 2008, rising to 1,064,927 last year from 801,840 in 2007, according to data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

I told a friend about this news and his response was: "That's it?" The rise was less than the 40% jump in 2007, but the increase in the number was greater. Experts estimate that the number of bankruptcies will continue to rise in 2009. The fallout from job losses and real estate market turmoil in 2008 seems likely to spill over into bankruptcy filings in 2009.

A bankruptcy reform law enacted in 2005 was designed to curb the number of bankruptcy filings caused bankruptcy filings to decline to 573,000 in 2006, but macroeconomic trends have since overpowered those reforms.