Bankruptcy Filings Show Uptick in May

6/6/2017 8:00 AM

The American Bankruptcy Institute reports a 5 percent increase over May last year as well as a jump in month-to-month filings.


Bankruptcy filings in May increased compared to the same period in May 2016, according to a news release from the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) and data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc.  Monthly filings also increased in May compared to April 2017.

In total, U.S. bankruptcy filings in May 2017 increased 5 percent from the 66,138 reported in May 2016, the news release said.  There were 69,668 total bankruptcy filings in May 2017.

“The 66,096 consumer bankruptcy filings in May 2017 were also up 5 percent over the May 2016 consumer total of 62,726,” according to the news release. “Total commercial filings also climbed 5 percent in May 2017, as the 3,572 filings increased slightly over the 3,412 commercial filings registered in May 2016.”

Total commercial chapter 11 filings, however, declined 8 percent from 613 in May 2016 to 563 in May 2017.

“More consumers and businesses faced with mounting financial pressures are turning to the fresh start of bankruptcy,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano in the news release. “Two ABI efforts are underway to modernize the Bankruptcy Code to meet the current needs of struggling households and business.”

Monthly bankruptcy filings increased 3 percent in May from 67,723 filings recorded in April.

“May’s commercial filing total represented a 7 percent increase from the April 2017 commercial filing total of 3,351. Commercial chapter 11 filings decreased 2 percent when compared to the 575 filings in April 2017,” according to the news release. “Total noncommercial filings for May also represented a 3 percent increase from the April 2017 noncommercial filing total of 64,372.”

 The ABI also reports the average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in May 2017 was 2.57 (total filings per 1,000 per population), which is a slight increase from the 2.54 filing rate from the first four months of 2017, according to the news release.

States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) in May 2017 were: Alabama (5.82); Tennessee (5.66); Georgia (4.69); Utah (4.14) and Mississippi (4.13.)

The ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy is holding regular open meetings to develop suggested improvements for the existing consumer bankruptcy system. The next open meeting is July 15 and a final report with recommendations will be released in December 2018.

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