Cases Total More Than 1.5 Million for First Time
Personal and Quarterly Filings Hit Historic Highs
August 14, 2002, Alexandria, Va. — New bankruptcies filed during the
second quarter of 2002 and for the past 12 months set all time records,
according to data released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S.
Courts. The 1,505,306 new cases is the
first time filings have totaled over 1.5 million in a 12-month period. Filings increased 8.6 percent from a total
1,386,606 bankruptcy cases filed in the 12-month period ending June 30,
2001. The previous highest total of
filings for any 12-month period was in the 12-month period ending Dec. 31,
2001, with a total of 1,492,129.
Filings in the 3-month period ending June 30, 2002, were 400,686, the
highest single quarter in history, breaking a mark set last June of 400,394
total cases filed.
filing records are like pie crusts: made to be broken,” said Samuel J.
Gerdano, Executive Director of the American Bankruptcy Institute. “Both individuals and public companies are
working through the difficult fallout from the debt binge of the 1990s and
there’s no early end in sight.”
Of the 400,686 total bankruptcy filings for the 3-month period ending
June 30, the largest number of filings continues to be under chapter 7. Total chapter 7 filings for the second quarter
were 286,584, a 2.3 percent decrease from 293,228 in 2001. Chapter 13 filings, the next largest category,
increased by 6.8 percent from 104,154 for the same period in 2001 to 111,193.
Chapter 11 filings declined 4 percent from 2,832 to 2,731.
Chapter 12 filings decreased 14.3 percent from 160 to 137, in the quarter
ending June 30, 2002. Chapter 12 expired on Oct. 1, 2001, but has
been extended through the end of 2002 by the recently passed farm bill.
BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending June 30
totaled 9,695, down 6.4 percent from the 10,330 bankruptcy business cases filed
in the same period in 2001. NON-BUSINESS
filings for the 3-month period ending June 30 increased less than
one percentage point (0.2 percent), from 390,064 in 2001 to 390,991 in 2002.
The chapter* breakdown of NON-BUSINESS filings for the 3-month
period ending June 30, 2002, is: 280,891 chapter 7s; 254 chapter 11s; and
109,843 chapter 13s.
The chapter breakdown of NON-BUSINESS filings for the 12-month
period ending June 30, 2002, is: 1,030,372 chapter 7s; 894 chapter 11s; and
434,835 chapter 13s.
with the Highest Percentage INCREASE in Total Filings for the 12-month period
ending June 30, 2002 (compared to the identical period in 2001)
1. District of Guam 93.5%
District of Michigan 22.8%
District of Indiana 19.8%
District of Arizona 19.8%
4. District of
District of Iowa 18.7%
Districts with the Highest
Percentage DECREASE in Total Filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2002 (compared to the identical period in 2001)
1. District of the
Virgin Islands 16.2%
2. District of
Puerto Rico 6.5%
3. District of
4. District of
North Dakota 4.8%
District of Alaska 4.8%
District of West Virginia 3.9%
More information will be available tomorrow
ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary,
non-partisan 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 8,600 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 ABI World at http://www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit
*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
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 creditors are paid in whole or in part.