Commercial Bankruptcy Filings Down 24% in 2013


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Total commercial bankruptcy filings during calendar year 2013 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) were 44,111, a 24% drop from the 57,964 filings during the same period in 2012, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute based on data provided by Epiq Systems.

Bankruptcy filings totaled 1,032,326 nationwide for calendar year 2013 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31), a 13% decrease from the 1,186,137 total filings in calendar year 2012. The 988,215 total noncommercial filings during calendar year 2013 represented a 12% drop from the noncommercial filing total of 1,128,173 during calendar year 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% decrease from the 75,691 filings in December 2012. The 63,601 total noncommercial filings for December also represented a 12% drop from the December 2012 noncommercial filing total of 71,892. Total commercial filings for December 2013 were 2,877, a 24% decrease from the 3,799 filings recorded during the same period in 2012. Commercial chapter 11 filings dropped by 31%, 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% decrease from the 2,442 total daily filings in December 2012.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for calendar year 2013 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) 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)

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Terry Mulreany
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