U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings jumped 30.9% in May from the same month last year, the American Bankruptcy Institute reports today. Using data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center, the institute says the 91,214 consumer filings in May represented a slight, 1.2% dip from the 92,291 filings recorded in April but rose from 69,684 filings in May 2007. The total number of bankruptcies filed during the first quarter increased 26.9% from the same period last year, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts reported earlier this week. Total filings reached 245,695 from January through March, 26.9% more than the 193,641 cases filed over the same stretch of 2007. "This ninth consecutive quarterly increase in filings since Congress attempted to restrict access to bankruptcy relief demonstrates again the influence of rising household debt," Samuel J. Giordano, the institute's executive director, said in a statement. "We expect filings to surge past 1 million cases by year-end."

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