Bankruptcies continued to fall in the second quarter of 2012.
The first six months of 2012 saw nearly 627,000 bankruptcy filings in the 50 states and District of Columbia, compared to almost 725,000 filings in the same time period in 2011, according to figures from Epiq Systems, which compiles data from federal bankruptcy records. The decline in second-quarter bankruptcy filings occurred in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia. For more, see " Credit diet shrinks bankruptcy rolls in second quarter of 2012 ."
The decline comes on the heels of a fall of 12 percent for all of 2011 compared to the previous year. For 2011, fewer than 1.37 million bankruptcy filings were recorded, compared to almost 1.55 million in 2010.
The chart below summarizes Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies by state and by federal court jurisdiction, through the second quarter of 2012. Click on a state to unfold details.
Recent history: Filings spike, plummet, rise, tail off
Bankruptcy filings topped out at about 2 million in 2005, propelled by the introduction of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. The act meant higher filing fees, a means test for eligibility, required counseling programs and an eight-year moratorium before a person can file for bankruptcy again.
Many consumers rushed to file before the law took effect, and that, coupled with the time it took attorneys to adjust to the new act, pushed filings down to 617,000 in 2006. By 2007, filings had surpassed 850,000, and they continued to rise until 2011, when the tail-off began.
See related: Personal bankruptcies fell 12 percent in 2011 , What to say when you can't pay