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Published: Friday, 12/5/2008

Year s bankruptcy filings near 1 million so far

NEW YORK Bankruptcy filings in the United States have almost topped 1 million so far this year.

An additional 91,355 companies and individuals sought court protection from creditors in November, according to statistics compiled by Automated Access to Court Electronic Records, a service of Jupiter ESources LLC in Oklahoma City. A similar number in December would push the total for 2008 to around 1.1 million, 33 percent higher than last year s number.

Daily filings climbed 2.6 percent last month from October, and exceeded 5,000 a day for the first time since the 2005 changes to the bankruptcy law, Mike Bickford, the data company s president, said.

The record for filings is 2.1 million in 2005, when 630,000 petitions were filed in the two weeks before revisions to federal bankruptcy laws that October increased the difficulty for individuals to erase debts.

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