By Ira Kantor
Monday, August 13, 2012

Nationwide bankruptcy filings fell sharply in the first six months of 2012 to 627,000, compared to 725,000 for the same period last year, according to a report issued today by

In the Bay State, 9,118 people filed for bankruptcy in the first half of 2012, which represents a filing rate of 2.79 per 1,000 people. During the same time last year, the Commonwealth saw a rate of 3 bankruptcy filings per 1,000 people. The rate was 3.52 filings per 1,000 people in 2010, according to the report.

Yet in spite of the decrease, Massachusetts still has a relatively high bankruptcy rate, and data suggests many consumers still struggle to manage their debts.

“The downturn has forced many Americans to exert a much greater degree of fiscal discipline, and we’re beginning to see that paying off with lower bankruptcy rates,” said Steve Trumble, president and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling in Newton. “Still, a great deal of individuals and families are struggling under the weight of insurmountable debts, and for many of them, bankruptcy remains their best option.”