updated 8/28/2006 7:44:09 PM ET 2006-08-28T23:44:09

Bankruptcy filings fell more than 9 percent in the last year and reached the lowest level in about five years, according to data released Monday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Major Market Indices

During the 12-month period that ended June 30, there were about 1.5 million bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts compared with more than 1.6 million in the year-ago period.

It was the smallest number of filings since the 12-month period ended September 2001, according to the federal court data.

There were 31,562 businesses that filed for bankruptcy, a 2.6 percent decrease compared with 32,406 in the year-ago period.

Filings under Chapters 7, 11, and 13 all fell, while only Chapter 12 filings rose with 360 compared with 290 in the year-ago period. Chapter 12 is an extension of Chapter 11, which protects companies from creditors' lawsuits while reorganizing, and applies to family farms.

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