ARLINGTON, Va. -Americans filed a record number of bankruptcy petitions in April as the clock began to tick on new laws to take effect on October 17, according to, a site on the Internet that tracks credit card data. The site reported that Americans made more than 170,000 bankruptcy filings during April, compared to 145,543 for April 2004. The 16.0% gain for April is the second month in a row that filings have moved up sharply after a steady two-year decline, the site reported. Over the full year of 2004, bankruptcy filings declined about 4% and in January filings dropped 13% compared to the year before and 17% during February.

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