Fewer Americans filed for personal bankruptcy last year, though experts said that might change in 2012.
Filings fell 12% in 2011 as 1.35 million Americans entered Chapter 7 or 13, according to an analysis for the National Bankruptcy Research Center by Columbia Law School professor Ronald Mann.
That’s down from more than 1.5 million filings in 2010, or about one out of every 150 people. In 2011, the ratio was one out of every 175 Americans. Chapter 7 liquidation filings were down 17% compared with 2010's figures, while Chapter 13 rehabilitation filings declined 25%.
It’s the first drop since 2006 -- but Mann said filings began increasing again in November and December and could portend yet another rise this year.