Commercial and Consumer Bankruptcies on the Rise


American Bankruptcy Institute reports a 75-percent increase in commercial filings over 2017 and 5 percent increase in total filings.

11/12/2018 9:00

Consumers and businesses in financial distress continue to file for bankruptcy, according to the latest report from the American Bankruptcy Institute.

For example, commercial Chapter 11 filings increased 75 percent in October 2018 over October 2017, according to a news release from the American Bankruptcy Institute and data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc.

“The 554 commercial Chapter 11 filings registered in October 2018 were up from October 2017’s commercial Chapter 11 filing total of 316. Commercial bankruptcy filings totaled 3,371 in October 2018, an 11 percent increase from the 3,041 commercial filings in October 2017,” according to the news release. “The 67,546 total U.S. bankruptcy filings in October 2018 registered a 5 percent increase over the October 2017 total of 64,616. Consumer bankruptcies also increased in October 2018, as the 64,175 filings were 4 percent more than the 61,575 consumer filings registered in October 2017.”

ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano said in the news release, “Bankruptcy provides a shield for distressed consumers and businesses confronted with rising interest rates and global economic challenges.”

The ABI continues to work on reform to help consumers and businesses with financial struggles.

“The recommendations of ABI’s Chapter 11 Commission and the ongoing efforts of the Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy aim to improve the system for struggling businesses and families seeking a fresh start through bankruptcy,” Gerdano said.

Total bankruptcy filings in October 2018 increased 17 percent compared to the 57,596 total filings in September 2018, according to the news release.

The ABI also reports the average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for October 2018 increased slightly to 2.49 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the filing rate of 2.48 during the first nine months of 2018.

The average total filings per day in October 2018 were 3,070, a slight decrease from the 3,077 total daily filings recorded in October 2017.

States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through the first 10 months of this year are: Alabama (5.74); Tennessee (5.54); Georgia (4.61); Mississippi (4.34); and Illinois (3.77.)

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