ALEXANDRIA, Va.— While U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings for September came in at double digits higher than the same period of last year, filings were down 8 percent from August.

More specifically, filings increased 28.6 percent nationwide over a year ago, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute, which relies on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

Filings for the month were 88,663, representing an 8-percent decline from August.

Chapter 13 filings constituted 33.5 percent of all consumer cases in September, a slight increase from August. 

"The continued rise in personal bankruptcies reflects high consumer debt, made worse by energy costs and the weak housing market, trapping many households in homes they can neither afford or sell," explained Samuel Gerdano, ABI executive director.

"We expect consumer bankruptcies to exceed 1.1 million new cases by year end," he concluded.