Bankruptcy Filings Increase Year-Over-Year


2/8/2017 6:23:00 PM

Growing interest rates and the cost of borrowing may cause debt-burdened consumers and businesses to file for bankruptcy, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

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Bankruptcy filings in the U.S. increased 5 percent in January from the same month in 2016,according to a news release from the American Bankruptcy Institute and data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc.

“Bankruptcy filings totaled 55,212 in January 2017, up from the January 2016 total of 52,560,” according to the news release. “With the total filings in both December 2016 and January 2017 increasing 5 percent over the previous year, total bankruptcies registered back-to-back monthly gains for the first time since 2010.”

Bankruptcy filings by consumers also increased 5 percent, to 52,421, in January this year from 49,733 in January 2016.

The total commercial filings declined just 1 percent to 2,791 last month from 2,827 in January 2016.

“While bankruptcies plunged last year to their lowest levels since the implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, filings are beginning to climb,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As interest rates increase and the cost of borrowing rises, more debt-burdened consumers and businesses may seek the financial shelter of bankruptcy.”

The total bankruptcy filings in January declined 2 percent from 56,414 in December 2016, according to the news release.

“The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy-filing rate in January 2017 was 2.13 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a decrease from December 2016’s rate of 2.48,” it states.

There were 2,629 average total filings per day in January, a 5 percent decrease from the 2,766 total daily filings recorded in January 2016.

States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in January 2017 were: Alabama (5.43); Tennessee (5.08) Georgia (4.30); Arkansas (3.44) and Illinois (3.41).

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