Bankruptcies Down 2.6 Percent in Year to Sept.

U.S. commercial and personal bankruptcy filings fell 2.6 percent in the year to Sept. 30, as personal finances improved in a strengthening economy, but bankruptcies still remain near record highs, a federal court report showed Friday.

Filings dropped to 1.62 million cases in the year from a record-high 1.66 million the previous year, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (search) said in a statement.

"Despite the drop in filings, bankruptcies remain at historic highs," the court said.

Nonbusiness bankruptcy (search) filings eased to 1.58 million in the year ended Sept. 30 from 1.63 million the year before, while business filings dipped to 34,817 from 36,183.

Bankruptcy filings (search) in the three months ended Sept. 30 fell to 396,438 from 421,110 in the quarter ended June 30.

For the year ended June 30, bankruptcy filings marked their first decline over a 12-month period since 2000.