Bankruptcy filings in the Buffalo area continued to decline in February, hitting the lowest level for that specific month since 2006.
New data from the Buffalo-Rochester district of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court shows 231 bankruptcy cases were filed in Buffalo between Feb. 1 and Feb. 28. That's down 15.4 percent from the same month in 2013 when 273 cases were filed in Buffalo.
According to the data, year-to-date filings in Buffalo decreased 9.9 percent. There were 473 total filings for all of January and February, down from 525 filings for the same two months in 2013.
In February, like most months, the overwhelming majority of bankruptcy filings within the district took place Erie County , where 155 cases were recorded. Niagara County followed with 32 cases for the month.
Local bankruptcy filings have been declining since 2009, in part because consumers are ridding themselves of debt. In 2013, more than 3,600 cases were filed in Buffalo while more than 1,900 cases were filed in Rochester.
That's in stark contrast to 2005, when nearly 22,000 cases were filed in the district. The surge was attributed to several changes to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, including making it more difficult for consumers to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 protection.