The number of bankruptcies filed during the year ended Sept. 30 rose 5.1%, to 1,436,964, according to data released Monday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
The increase was driven by personal bankruptcies, which accounted for 96.7% of the filings. There were 1,389,839 of these filings, up 5.8% from the previous year. By contrast, business bankruptcies decreased 15.1%, to 47,125.
Bankruptcy reform legislation died during the last session of Congress but is likely to be reconsidered next spring.
"Continued high levels of consumer spending and debt have led to sustained high rates of bankruptcies," said Samuel J. Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute.