Contact: John Hartgen
             703-894-5935
             jhartgen@abiworld.org

TOTAL BANKRUPTCY FILINGS DECREASE 12 PERCENT IN 2011, COMMERCIAL FILINGS FALL 19 PERCENT

January 4, 2012, Alexandria, Va.— Total bankruptcy filings in the United States decreased 12 percent in 2011 over calendar year 2010, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 1,379,113 for the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2011, over the previous year’s total of 1,561,008. The consumer filing total for calendar year 2011 was 1,304,971, representing an 11 percent decrease from the 1,468,938 total consumer filings during the same period in 2010. The total commercial filings for calendar year 2011 also decreased to 74,142, representing a 19 percent decline from the 92,070 business filings recorded in 2010.

“The decline in total filings reflects the retrenchment in consumer spending associated with a down U.S. economy,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As consumers continue to deleverage their debt and access to credit remains tight, bankruptcy filings will continue to decrease.”


Total filings for chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcies all decreased during the12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2011, Epiq reported. The 965,423 total chapter 7 filings during the 2011 calendar year represented a 13 percent decrease from the 1,111,236 total chapter 7 filings recorded during the same period in 2010. Total chapter 11 filings reached 11,396 in calendar year 2011, a decrease of 17 percent from the 13,665 recorded in 2010. Total chapter 13 bankruptcies fell 8 percent from 435,242 during the 2010 calendar year to 401,588 during the same period in 2011.

States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) during the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2011 were:

1) Nevada (8.98)
2) Georgia (7.35)
3) Tennessee (7.34)
4) Utah (6.53)
5) Alabama (6.37)

Total commercial filings for chapters 7 and 11 also recorded double-digit decreases during calendar year 2011, according to the Epiq data. Commercial chapter 7 filings during the12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2011, reached 49,500, a 21 percent decrease from the 62,519 filings during the same period in 2010. Total chapter 11 commercial filings for calendar year 2011 were 8,611, a decrease of 19 percent from the 10,604 recorded in 2010.


Epiq Solution’s data also showed that the 96,264 total filings recorded in December 2011 represented a 16 percent decrease from the 114,738 filings in December 2010. Comercial filings were 5,496 in December 2011, a 21 percent decrease from the 6,986 business filings in December 2010.

ABI has partnered with Epiq Systems, Inc. in order to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers and members of the news media. Epiq Systems is a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession.

For further information about the statistics or additional requests, please contact ABI Public Affairs Manager John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or jhartgen@abiworld.org.

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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 13,000 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.


Epiq Systems is a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession.  Epiq Systems offers innovative technology solutions for electronic discovery, document review, legal notification, claims administration and controlled disbursement of funds.  Epiq System’s clients include leading law firms, corporate legal departments, bankruptcy trustees, government agencies, mortgage processors, financial institutions, and other professional advisors who require innovative technology, responsive service and deep subject-matter expertise. For more information on Epiq Systems, Inc., please visit http://www.epiqsystems.com.


*Definitions from Bankruptcy Overview: Issues, Law and Policy, by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code is available to both individual and business debtors. Its purpose is to achieve a fair distribution to creditors of the debtor’s available non-exempt property.  Unsecured debts not reaffirmed are discharged, providing a fresh financial start. 
Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for both business and consumer debtors. Its purpose is to rehabilitate a business as a going concern or reorganize an individual’s finances through a court-approved reorganization plan.
Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code is designed to give special debt relief to a family farmer with regular income from farming.  
Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for an individual with regular income whose debts do not exceed specific amounts; it is typically used to budget some of the debtor's future earnings under a plan through which unsecured creditors are paid in whole or in part.