ALEXANDRIA, Va. — According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, which relies on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center, U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings jumped by nearly 33 percent nationwide in 2008 from the previous year.

The data showed that the overall consumer filing total for the 2008 calendar year (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2008) reached 1,064,927 compared to the 801,840 total consumer filings recorded during 2007.

"Consumers are under great financial stress, with no immediate end in sight," said Samuel Gerdano, ABI executive director. "We expect the upward spike in personal bankruptcies to continue in 2009."

However, NBKRC's data also showed that the 84,926 consumer filings recorded in December represented a 15-percent decrease from the 99,925 filings in November.

Chapter 13 filings constituted 32 percent of all consumer cases in December, a slight decrease from November.