Have bankruptcy cases finally peaked?

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts buried the lead in his year-end report on the federal courts.

He starts off with a folksy tale about allegations that the Chicago White Sox participated in a scheme to fix the 1919 World Series, then launches into his take on ethics and recusal and the Supreme Court.

That’s all well and good, but down near the bottom of the report, he wrote about caseloads in the federal courts. And, miracle of miracles, bankruptcy filings fell by 8 percent in 2011. That’s the first time there has been a decline in bankruptcy cases since 2007, when the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 took effect.

Maybe I’m more optimistic than a newswoman ought to be. But I can’t help but ask: Have we finally hit bottom and started to bounce back?

Let’s hope so.

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