According to a report earlier this month by the American Bankruptcy Institute, consumer bankruptcies are up so far this year. For example, there were 92,669 bankruptcies filed in January, however, there were 102,686 filed in February. Last year there were 5,847 Massachusetts bankruptcies filed in the first quarter. According to the ABI, the cause for the continued high rate is "high unemployment and a still-poor housing sector." The Wall Street Journal noted that this is an 11% increase from the previous month. On the other hand, Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney Neil Burns notes personal bankruptcies are down from a year ago. The above numbers include Chapter 7 no asset bankruptcies, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 consumer reorganization bankruptcies. Last year there were over 1.6 million bankruptcies; we are below that rate so far this year. The total Chapter 7 bankruptcies for 2010 was 1.1 million. The ABI notes that the number of bankruptcies has increased each year since the new law was put into effect, 2005.
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