Tepid consumer spending has an upside: Bankruptcy filings in the U.S. are down 14% in the first half of the year, helped along by record-low interest rates and a new culture of belt-tightening.
From Jan. 1 to June 30, there were 632,130 new filings, according to a report from the American Bankruptcy Institute and Epiq Systems Inc., which manages bankruptcy procedures for filers.
In the period, 601,184 consumers filed for bankruptcy, a 13% slide from a year earlier. Business bankruptcy filings fell 22% to 30,946.
In June alone, nearly 100,000 bankruptcy filings were recorded — or about 3,302 a day — but that's down 18% from the same month in 2011.
"We are on pace for perhaps the lowest total new bankruptcies since before the financial crisis in 2008," Samuel J. Gerdano, executive director of the bankruptcy institute, said in a statement.
Major bankruptcies so far this year include filings from Eastman Kodak Co., Mammoth Lakes and "Curious George" publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
In Nevada, 7 in 1,000 people filed for bankruptcy. Other states with high bankruptcy rates include Tennessee, Georgia, Utah and Alabama.