Contact: John Hartgen
CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS SURGE PAST ONE MILLION DURING FIRST NINE MONTHS OF 2009
October 2, 2009, Alexandria, Va.— Consumer bankruptcies totaled 1,046,449 filings through the first nine months of 2009 (Jan. 1-Sept. 30), the first time since the 2005 bankruptcy overhaul that filings have surged past the 1 million mark during the first three calendar quarters of a year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The filings for the first three-quarters of 2009 were the highest total since the 1,350,360 consumer filings through the first nine months of 2005.
"Bankruptcy filings continue to climb as consumers look to shelter themselves from the effects of rising unemployment rates and housing debt," said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. "The consumer filing total through the first nine months is consistent with our expectation that consumer bankruptcies will top 1.4 million in 2009."
The September 2009 consumer filing total reached 124,790, a 41 percent increase from the 88,663 consumer filings in September 2008. The September 2009 filings also represented a 4 percent increase over the 119,874 filings in August 2009 and it is the fourth highest single month since the 2005 law change. Chapter 13 filings constituted 28 percent of all consumer cases in September, unchanged from the August rate.
ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 12,300 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.