RPT-Fitch: U.S. Personal Bankruptcies Set to Drop Again

Thu Feb 6, 2014 8:34am EST

Feb 6 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)

U.S. personal bankruptcy filings are on track to achieve a fourth straight year of declines, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

Fitch projects 2014 filings to fall another 8-10%, this after 2013 filings fell over 12%. That said, the pace of improvement is likely to level off. 'Banks will continue to ease underwriting standards and open up access to larger credit lines to consumers,' said Managing Director Michael Dean. '

This development comes as personal bankruptcy filings finished off strong in 2013. Filings closed slightly above the one million mark after falling 12%, or 145,759, to 1,011,732 from 1,157,491 in 2012. 'Consumers continue to curtail spending and diligently repay existing debt,' said Dean. 'Lower initial jobless claims coupled with a receding unemployment rate positively supported the overall decline in bankruptcy filings.'

'Personal Bankruptcy Filings Poised to Post Fourth Consecutive Annual Decline' is available at 'www.fitchratings.com' or by clicking on the below link.

Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: Personal Bankruptcy Filings Poised to Post Fourth Consecutive Annual Decline