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Consumer bankruptcies climbed in 2010

While the economic recovery is helping many, there exists a significant portion of consumers still feeling the pain. That includes the 9 percent of consumers who had to declare bankruptcy in 2010, according to new data from the National Bankruptcy Center. The 9 percent increase last year was the largest single-year jump since 2005. Professor Ronald Mann of the University of Columbia Law School, who compiled the data, stated in a release that bankruptcy affects nearly 1 in 150 Americans and that the biggest pain is felt by the bottom percentile of earners. "Through the course of 2010, the filing rates have become increasingly disparate throughout the country," Mann states in the report." The highest filing rates are concentrated in the Southwest and a swathe cutting up from the Southeast." Mann claims that a 2005 bankruptcy law made it difficult for consumers to disregard their debts, and that the law combined with the recession made it much more difficult for consumers to obtain credit. That economic force and joblessness eventually manifested into a high bankruptcy rate.