Epiq Reports 46% Increase in November Commercial Chapter 11 Filings



Commercial Chapter 11 filings increased 46% in November 2020 compared with November of last year, according to data provided by Epiq. Increasing from November 2019’s commercial Chapter 11 filing total of 449, nearly half of the 654 commercial Chapter 11 filings registered in November 2020 were “related” filings. All other filing categories registered decreases compared with last year.

The 34,478 total U.S. bankruptcies in November 2020 were down 39% from the 56,085 filings in November 2019. Consumer bankruptcies also decreased 39% in November 2020, as the 32,143 filings dropped from the 53,063 consumer filings registered in November 2019. Commercial bankruptcy filings totaled 2,335 in November 2020, a 23% decrease from the 3,022 commercial filings in November 2019.

The 494,756 total bankruptcies through the first 11 months of 2020 are on pace to result in the lowest annual filing total since the 617,660 filings recorded in calendar year 2006, the year after the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 went into effect and placed new requirements on filers.

“Government relief programs, moratoriums and lender deferments have helped families and businesses weather surging COVID-19 cases, elevated unemployment rates and growing debt loads to this point of the pandemic,” Amy Quackenboss, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, said. “Unless renewed by Congress, the expiration of the stabilization programs will leave struggling consumers and businesses in a challenging and uncertain position. Bankruptcy provides a proven shield to companies and consumers facing mounting financial distress.”

Commercial Chapter 11 filings in November 2020 represented a 19% increase from the 550 filings recorded in October 2020. Total filings for November decreased 14% compared with the 40,218 total filings in October 2020. Total noncommercial filings for November decreased 15% from the October 2020 noncommercial filing total of 37,679. November’s commercial filing total represented an 8% decrease from the October 2020 commercial filing total of 2,539.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) was 1.74 for the first 11 calendar months of 2020 (Jan. 1-Nov. 30), a slight decrease from the 1.78 rate registered during the first 10 months of the year. The average daily filing total in November 2020 was 1,815, a 39% decrease from the 2,952 total daily filings registered in November 2019. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) through the first 11 months of 2020 were Alabama (3.91), Delaware (3.74), Tennessee (3.46), Nevada (2.95) and Mississippi (2.93).

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