WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - U.S. consumer bankruptcies fell 8 percent in the first half of 2011 from the same period last year as households cut debt and the economy recovered, according to data released on Tuesday.
The number of U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings fell to 709,303 in the first six months of 2011 from 770,117 last year, according to a report by the American Bankruptcy Institute.
For June, consumer bankruptcies were down 5 percent at 119,768, from 126,270 a year ago, the data showed.
"The drop in bankruptcies for the first half of the year shows the continued efforts of consumers to reduce their household debt and the overall pull back in consumer credit," ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano said.
The report said the U.S. economy has continued its sluggish recovery from the deep 2007-2009 recession. The U.S. unemployment rate at the beginning of 2011 had dropped to 9 percent from 9.7 percent at the start of 2010.
(Reporting by Tom Hals, editing by Maureen Bavdek)