Fewer Minnesotans have filed for bankruptcy this year compared to last year. So far this year, bankruptcies are down by 13 percent, mirroring the national trend.
A decrease in bankruptcies in Minnesota and nationally doesn't suggest where the economy is headed, said Sam Gerdano of the American Bankruptcy Institute.
In a down economy, consumers retrench, he said. Consumers borrow less and take fewer financial risks. Bankruptcies tend to pick up as people take on more financial risks.
When the economy is booming, Gerdano said, people tend to take more financial risks which can lead to more bankruptcies.
"Households have pulled back a bit from the financial ledge," Gerdano said. "That explains the bit of a paradox where you can have a slow growth or even a declining economy as we have and see an actual slight dip in bankruptcy filing."