Bankruptcy Filings Down 13 Percent in 2013; Lowest Since 2007

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Bankruptcy filings totaled 1,032,326 nationwide for calendar year 2013, a 13 percent decrease from the 1,186,137 total filings in calendar year 2012, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).

The 988,215 total consumer  filings during calendar year 2013 represented a 12 percent drop from 2012. Total commercial filings during 2013 were 44,111, a 24 percent drop 2012.

“The 2013 filings represent the lowest total since 2007, and they have dropped each year since 2010,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Annual bankruptcy filings will likely continue to drop amid sustained low interest rates and high costs to file.”

“As fewer consumers and businesses turn to the Bankruptcy Code for a financial fresh start, the court system, which relies on bankruptcy filing fees for funding, is also affected,” Gerdano added. “To make sure that justice remains accessible, ABI joined four other national organizations to express strong support for the Federal Judiciary’s FY 2014 funding appeal.”

The 66,478 total bankruptcy filings for the month of December 2013 represented a 12 percent decrease from the 75,691 filings in December 2012. The 63,601 consumer filings for December also represented a 12 percent drop from December 2012. Total commercial filings for December 2013 were 2,877, a 24 percent decrease from the same period in 2012. Commercial chapter 11 filings dropped by 31 percent, as the number of chapter 11 filings in December 2012 (565) fell to 391 in December 2013. Average total filings per day in December 2013 were 2,145, a 12 percent decrease from the 2,442 total daily filings in December 2012.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for calendar year 2013 decreased to 3.33 (total filings per 1,000 population) from the 3.83 rate registered during calendar year 2012. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) through 2013 were:

  1. Tennessee (6.59)
  2. Georgia (5.74)
  3. Alabama (5.65)
  4. Utah (5.16)
  5. Indiana (5.00)

ABI has partnered with Epiq Systems, Inc. in order to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers and members of the news media. Epiq Systems is a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession.

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Posted in Bankruptcy, The Economy .

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