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Bankruptcy filings decline in May

In the latest sign that the worst of the recession is receding, the American Bankruptcy Institute reported Wednesday that total filings were down 12% last month from the same period last year.

Total U.S. bankruptcy filings were down to 96,430 last month, the institute said.

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Consumer bankruptcy filings were down 11% to 92,413. Business filings fell 25%, to 4,017.

“Sustained low interest rates, tighter lending standards and decreased consumer spending are assisting consumers and companies to shore up their balance sheets,” Samuel J. Gerdano, director of the institute said in a release.

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Average nationwide per capita filings increased slightly in May compared with the rest of this year. That rate through May increased to 3.57 filings per 1,000 people. In April, the rate was 3.52.

The states with the highest per capita filing rates were Tennessee (6.76), Georgia (5.85), Alabama (5.75), Illinois (5.56) and Utah (5.44).

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