* New filings fall to 632,130 in first-half of 2012
* Business filings fall 22 pct
* Consumer filings drop 13 pct
July 5 The number of U.S. businesses and
consumers filing for bankruptcy fell 14 percent in the first
half of 2012 and could end the year at the lowest level since
before the 2008 financial crisis, according to data released on
New bankruptcy filings fell to 632,130 in the first six
months of the year compared to the same period last year,
according to Epiq Systems Inc, which manages documents and
claims for companies in bankruptcy.
The number of businesses filing for bankruptcy dropped 22
percent to 30,946 and the number of consumers seeking court
protection from creditors fell 13 percent to 601,184.
"We are on pace for perhaps the lowest total new
bankruptcies since before the financial crisis in 2008," said
Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy
Institute, which jointly released the report with Epiq.
Gerdano attributed the decline to low interest rates, which
have been kept at rock-bottom levels since the financial crisis
by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Despite the drop in filings, there have been several large
bankruptcies this year, including photography icon Eastman Kodak
Co, textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publishers Inc, and Hostess Brands Inc, the maker of Wonder
Bread and Twinkies.