US bankruptcies resume upward path in 1st quarter

* Consumer filings up 18 pct, business filings up 2 pct

* Nevada has most filings per capita, Arizona filings soar

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) – U.S. bankruptcy filings resumed their upward climb in the first quarter, nearly equaling their highest level since 2005, as high unemployment and a still-strained housing market squeezed consumers.

There were 388,148 filings between January and September, up 17 percent from 330,394 a year earlier, according to data released Friday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Consumer filings rose 18 percent to 373,541, while business filings edged up 2 percent to 14,607.

Filings also rose 4 percent from last year’s fourth quarter, the government data show. That had been the first period with a quarter-to-quarter drop in filings since 2006.

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