Federal court records say Iowans filed more than 20 percent fewer bankruptcies in 2012 than in 2011.

The total number dropped to nearly 6,300 last year, compared with nearly 7,900 the year before. The 2012 figure is the lowest since 2007.

The Gazette says attorneys cited a variety of reasons for the decline beyond the slow recovery from the Great Recession. Bankruptcies jumped in 2009 after the economy went into a tailspin.

Attorney Kevin Ahrenholz says the lack of money for filing fees and attorney's fees can keep many debtors from seeking bankruptcy.

Attorney John Heckel says there has been a tightening of credit rules by banks and other credit card issuers. With less access to credit, people accumulate less debt to struggle with.