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Local bankruptcy filings in line with national trends for month of February

Buffalo, NY — The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York reports bankruptcy filings in February 2013 fell into line with national trends after an atypical increase in January.  Numbers for February showed a decrease in the overall district of 21.2 percent compared with the same month in 2012, with the Buffalo area down 22.2 percent and the greater Rochester area down 19.1 percent.  In January the District was up 1.4 percent, with Rochester up 17.8 percent.

Nationwide during 2012 the numbers of filings continued to decrease, as they have since the beginning of the recession.  Consumer bankruptcy filings across the country totaled 1,127,540, a 14 percent drop from the total of 1,305,243 during calendar year 2011.  During December 2012 (the last month for which national numbers are available) there was a total of 71,817 consumer filings, representing a 21 percent drop from the December 2011 filing total of 90,958.  These were the lowest totals since 2008, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

“Experts continue to explain the national declines by low interest rates, reduced consumer spending and continued deleveraging by households,” said Jeffrey Freedman, managing attorney, Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys at Law, PLLC.

An economist for the Federal Reserve Bank said generally the economies in Buffalo and Rochester have steadily strengthened over the past year, with Rochester slightly stronger in employment and housing starts than Buffalo.