Alexandria, Va. — U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings increased again by double-digits in January over the same month in 2008.

More specifically, filings jumped by 34.4 percent nationwide in January from the same period a year ago, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute, which relies on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

The overall January consumer filing total of 88,773 represented a slight increase from the December total of 84,926. Chapter 13 filings constituted 32.8 percent of all consumer cases in January, a slight increase from December. 

"U.S. households are under great financial stress today; for many, bankruptcy seems to be their best option," said Samuel Gerdano, ABI Executive Director. "We expect more than 1.4 million new cases filed in 2009."