May Commercial Chapter 11 Bankruptcies Increase 16%

Commercial chapter 11 filings increased 16% to 498 filings in May 2015 from the 431 commercial Chapter 11 filings registered in May 2014, according to data provided by Epiq Systems. In contrast, total commercial filings in May 2015 decreased to 2,515, representing a 22% decline from the 3,238 business filings recorded in May 2014.

Total bankruptcy filings in the U.S. decreased 19% in May 2015 over May of last year. Bankruptcy filings totaled 69,286 in May 2015, down from the May 2014 total of 85,711. Consumer filings also declined 19% to 66,771 from the May 2014 consumer filing total of 82,473.

“While the May commercial Chapter 11 filings indicate more businesses turned to the Bankruptcy Code for a fresh start, total and consumer filings continue to decline amid sustained low interest rates and flat consumer debt levels,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Total filings are on pace for just over 800,000 in 2015.”

Total bankruptcy filings for the month of May represented an 11% decrease compared to the 77,919 total filings recorded in April 2015. Total noncommercial filings for May also represented an 11 percent decrease from the April 2015 noncommercial filing total of 75,299. May’s commercial filing total represented a 4% decrease from the April 2015 commercial filing total of 2,620. Conversely, May commercial chapter 11 filings increased 23% when compared to the 405 filings registered the previous month.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy-filing rate in May was 2.73 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight decrease from the 2.74 rate registered in the first four months of the year. Average total filings per day in May 2015 were 2,235, a 19% decrease from the 2,765 total daily filings in May 2014. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in May 2015 were:

1. Tennessee (5.61)
2. Alabama (5.18)
3. Georgia (4.85)
4. Illinois (4.56)
5. Utah (4.34)

ABI has partnered with Epiq Systems in order to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers and members of the news media.

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