Alabama sees sharp rise in bankruptcy filings

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The first three months of the year saw a sharp rise in bankruptcy filings across Alabama, a surge that helps illustrate the severity of the current economic downturn.

From January through March, 8,415 personal bankruptcies were filed in Alabama. According to figures released Friday by the American Bankruptcy Institute, that's a 35 percent hike from the same period last year.

The news was even more grim for businesses, which saw bankruptcy filings spike nearly 68 percent to 191. Nationwide, the figures show Alabama had the third-highest rate for personal bankruptcies.

The state had 6.81 personal bankruptcy filings per 1,000 residents, well above the national rate of 3.9 filings per 1,00 residents.

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