ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The majority of participants, 65 percent, in a recent American Bankruptcy Institute Quick Poll predicted that bankruptcies in 2009 would increase by at least 35 percent over the nearly 1.1 million cases filed in 2008.

Fifty-three percent of respondents predicted that filings would increase by 35 percent or more, while 12 percent thought filings would increase by about 35 percent. 

Meanwhile, 33 percent predicted that the 2009 filing total would represent an increase of 30 percent or less from the 2008 figure. Seventeen percent of respondents thought that bankruptcies would increase 30 percent, and 16 percent thought that the 2009 filings would increase 25 percent or less over the 2008 total.

Bankruptcies totaled nearly 1.1 million in 2008, with more than 97 percent of the cases filed by consumers, representing an increase of more than 30 percent over the 2007 filing total.

Bankruptcies have increased nearly 35 percent each year since 2006, when filings reached their lowest levels since the 1980s following the implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.

ABI members and the public were welcome to submit their response to the statement: "Bankruptcies rose more than 30 percent in 2008 to nearly 1.1 million new cases, with more than 97 percent of cases filed by consumers. Filings will rise by what percentage in 2009?"