February Commercial Bankruptcy Filings Climb 32% Y/Y

The American Bankruptcy Institute announced, citing data provided by Epiq Systems, total U.S. bankruptcy filings decreased just 1% in February from the same period last year.

Bankruptcy filings totaled 64,662 in February 2016, down slightly from the February 2015 total of 65,064. Consumer filings declined 2% in February 2016 to 61,662 from the February 2015 consumer filing total of 62,784.

However, total commercial filings in February 2016 jumped to 3,000, representing a 32% increase from the 2,280 business filings recorded in February 2015. The 476 total commercial chapter 11 filings in February 2016 represented an increase of 31% from February 2015’s total of 364.

“February showed that decreases in total filings are starting to level off, and more businesses are turning to the financial relief of bankruptcy,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As the last major overhaul of chapter 11 took place in 1978, the recommendations of ABI’s Chapter 11 Reform Commission provide an updated roadmap for struggling businesses and courts trying to navigate today’s complex financial terrain.”

Total bankruptcy filings for the month of February 2016 increased 23% compared to the 52,542 total filings registered in January 2016. Total noncommercial filings for February, 61,662, represented a 24% increase from the January 2016 noncommercial filing total of 49,728. The February 2016 commercial filing total of 3,000 represented a 7% increase from the January 2016 commercial filing total of 2,814, although February 2016’s 476 commercial chapter 11 filings represented a 4% decrease from the 494 filings recorded the previous month.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy-filing rate in February 2016 was 2.26 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a decrease from January 2016’s rate of 2.02. Average total filings per day in February were 2,126, a 5% decrease from the 2,244 total daily filings recorded in February 2015.

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