Bankruptcy Filings Spike in October


11/8/2017 4:00:00 PM

The slight increase in total bankruptcy filings reflects changes from September this year and October 2016. High filing costs continue to be an obstacle for consumers and businesses, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

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Bankruptcy filings increased in October after declines across the board in September, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).

Total U.S. bankruptcy filings increased 2 percent to 64,579 in October 2017 compared to 63,802 in October 2016, according to a news release from the ABI and data provided by Epiq Systems Inc.

“Consumer bankruptcies also increased in October 2017, as the 61,590 filings were 3 percent more than the 60,005 consumer filings registered in October 2016,” according to the news release.

Commercial bankruptcy filings, however, declined 3 percent to 2,989 in October 2017 compared to 3,077 commercial filings in October 2016.

The total filings in October also increased 8 percent from September this year, when there were 60,024 filings, the ABI reports.

“High filing costs remain an obstacle for distressed consumers and businesses considering the financial relief of bankruptcy,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano in the news release. “The recommendations of ABI’s Chapter 11 Commission and the ongoing efforts of the Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy aim to remove barriers for struggling businesses and families seeking a fresh start through bankruptcy.”

The ABI also reports the average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first 10 months of this year remained the same at 2.53 (total filings per 1,000 population) as the rate recorded during the first nine months of the year.

The average daily filing for bankruptcies in October 2017 was 3,075, which is 2.5 percent lower than the 3,154 daily filings in October 2016, according to the news release.

States with the highest per capita filing rates in October were: Alabama (5.82); Tennessee (5.63); Georgia (4.74); Mississippi (4.22) and Utah (4.10.)

The ABI’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 recently made recommendations for reform of Chapter 11, available here.

The ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy is also meeting Nov. 10 during the Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff Seventh Circuit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference in Chicago.

The commission is, “charged with researching and recommending improvements to the consumer bankruptcy system that can be implemented within its existing structure,” according to a news release. “These changes might include amendments to the Bankruptcy Code, changes to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, administrative rules or actions, recommendations on proper interpretations of existing law and other best practices that judges, trustees and lawyers can implement.”

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