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A larger percentage of women versus men sought credit counseling last year, though the gap did narrow from the previous year, according to a survey report by the Institute for Financial Literacy, a Portland, Maine-based nonprofit financial-literacy organization. In 2007, 52.8% of the nearly 37,000 survey respondents who were seeking credit counseling were female, down from 53.6% in 2006. Males represented 47.2% of consumers who sought credit counseling last year, up from 46.4% in 2006, according to the institute's "2007 Annual Demographics Report." Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 requires consumers to receive credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy protection from creditors. The institute is recommending that more research "to study why women are filing bankruptcy at greater rates than their population representation and why male filing rates are now starting to increase." Approximately 51% of the U.S. population is female and 49% are male, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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