U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings jumped 30.9% in May from the same month last year, the American Bankruptcy Institute reports today, based on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

The May consumer filing total of 91,214 did slip slightly, by 1.2%, from the 92,291 filings recorded in April.

The total number of bankruptcies filed during the first quarter of 2008 increased 26.9% over 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, surpassing the 193,641 cases filed over the same stretch of 2007. Total first-quarter filings exceeded 226,413 new cases filed in fourth-quarter 2007 by 8.5%.

"This ninth consecutive quarterly increase in filings since Congress attempted to restrict access to bankruptcy relief demonstrates again the influence of rising household debt," the institute's executive director, Samuel J. Gerdano, said in a statement. "We expect filings to surge past 1 million cases by year-end."

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