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Personal Bankruptcies Gauge Bank of America Profits

Law360 (January 23, 2006, 12:00 AM EST) -- A surge in consumer bankruptcy filings has unexpectedly forced Bank of America Corp., the second-largest U.S. bank, to report its first profit decline in more than four years, losses felt by many consumer lenders in the wake of the new bankruptcy law.

Fourth-quarter net income fell 2% from $3.85 billion to $3.77 billion as consumer bankruptcies drove up loan losses and profit from trading bonds and currencies dropped, the company reported this week.

Last October, personal bankruptcy filings rose to record highs—as many as 148,000 filings...
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