More bankruptcies have been filed over the past nine months than for all of 2006, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

After legal reforms in 2005 triggered a slowdown, bankruptcies filed by U.S. businesses and consumers hit some 623,000 over the third quarter this year, up more than 40 percent from the same three-month period last year.

In the 12-month period ending in September, bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts totaled 801,269, of which businesses accounted for 25,925.  

Chapter 7 bankruptcies accounted for more than half of all cases filed this year.