Bankruptcy Filings from U.S. Businesses in 2016 Surpass 2015 Total

1/10/2017 12:03 PM

Study shows 26 percent year-over-year increase in business filings.


Bankruptcy filings from U.S. businesses increased 26 percent in 2016 when compared to last year, according to a news release from the American Bankruptcy Institute and data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc.

Business filings during calendar year 2016 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) were 37,771, compared to 29,920 filings in 2015.

Business filings totaled 2,911 in December 2016 compared to 2,674 in December 2015. According to the release, “average total filings per day in December 2016 were 2,685, a 10 percent increase from the 2,447 total daily filings in December 2015.”

The total bankruptcy filings in December 2016, 56,394, increased 5 percent from 53,844  filings in December 2015 , according to the news release. “The 53,483 total noncommercial filings for December also represented a 5 percent increase from the December 2015 noncommercial filing total of 51,170.”

However, comparing total bankruptcy filings, the 771,894 filings during 2016 represented a 6 percent drop from 2015’s total filings of 819,431. Total noncommercial filings also decreased by 7 percent overall from 2015.

“While commercial filings increased last year, total filings fell for a seventh consecutive year and bankruptcies decreased to their lowest number recorded since 2006,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano in the news release. “As the Fed raises rates in 2017 and the cost of borrowing increases, more debt-burdened consumers and businesses may seek the financial shelter of bankruptcy.”

The American Bankruptcy Institute also reports that the average nationwide per capita bankruptcy-filing rate for 2016 was 2.48 (total filings per 1,000 population), a decrease from the filing rate of 2.63 percent recording for 2015.

States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through December 2016 include: Tennessee (5.57); Alabama (5.48); Georgia (4.75); Utah (4.09); and Illinois (4.08).

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