Personal bankruptcy filings are on their way down for the first time since 1994, but a prominent consumer credit researcher is warning lenders that the trend will not last.

The decline is evident in bankruptcy statistics for the first quarter, said Stuart A. Feldstein, president of SMR Research Corp. The number is off by 12% from the fourth quarter, and he said he sees a decline of 12% to 15% for the full year, compared with 1998.

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