ABI: Total US Bankruptcy Filings Up 6% Y/Y

Commercial chapter 11 filings totaled 414 in September, a 33% increase over September 2018’s total of 312 filings, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute from data provided by Epiq Systems. Overall business filings increased 11% to 3,129 filings in September from September 2018’s total of 2,822 business filings. Total U.S. filings registered 61,113 in September 2019, up 6% from last September’s total of 57,619. The 57,984 consumer filings in September also represented a 6% increase from the September 2018 consumer total of 54,797.

“Bankruptcy provides the reprieve needed for financially distressed families and businesses dealing with increasing costs and debt loads,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Recently enacted laws update the Bankruptcy Code to improve access to bankruptcy for struggling Main Street businesses, farmers and veterans looking to achieve a financial fresh start.”

Total U.S. bankruptcy filings rose 1% during the first nine months of 2019 from the same period a year ago as the 580,470 filings were a slight increase from 576,749 filings in 2018. The 551,062 total noncommercial filings through the first three quarters of 2019 also represented a 1% increase from the noncommercial filing total of 548,348 through the first three quarters of 2018. Commercial bankruptcy filings during the first nine months of the year increased 4% to 29,408 from the 28,401 filings during the same period in 2018. Commercial chapter 11 filings also increased during the first nine months of 2019, as the 4,127 filings represented an 8% upturn from the 3,805 chapter 11 filings during the first nine months of 2018.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first nine calendar months of 2019 decreased slightly to 2.5 (total filings per 1,000 population) from the 2.51 rate for the first eight months of the year. The average daily filing total in September 2019 was 3,056, a 1% increase from the 3,033 total daily filings registered in September 2018. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) through the first nine months of 2019 were:

1. Alabama (5.67)

2. Tennessee (5.45)

3. Georgia (4.41)

4. Mississippi (4.23)

5. Nevada (3.80)

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