IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Pam Shepherd
Surpass Record Breaking Mark
December 4, 2001, Alexandria, Va. — The number of new bankruptcies
filed during fiscal year 2001 rose to a historic high during the 12-month
period ending Sept. 30. Bankruptcy
cases for FY 2001 totaled 1,437,354, which is a 14 percent increase from the
1,262,102 cases filed in FY 2000, according to data released today by the Administrative
Office of the U.S. Courts. The total
number of new bankruptcies filed in the third quarter of 2001 (July 1 to Sept.
30) was 359,518, a 16.5 percent increase over the same period a year ago. This is the second highest third quarter
ever and is surpassed only by the third quarter of 1998 when 361,205 new cases
were filed. Through the first nine
months of this year, filings are up 19.5 percent from the same period a year
ago and up 3.5 percent from the same period in 1998. Filings are now on their way to surpass the recording-breaking
year of 1998, when 1,442,549 new cases were filed.
In fiscal year 2001, the largest number of filings continues to be under
chapter 7. Total chapter 7 filings were
1,014,137, a 16.5 percent increase from 870,805 in 2000. Chapter 13 filings, the next largest
category, increased by 8.2 percent from 380,880 for the same period in 2000 to
412,272. Chapter 11 filings rose 7
percent from 9,835 to 10,519 and chapter 12 filings fell 31.2 percent from 551
to 379. Overall, chapter 12 filings
fell during this period. Chapter 12
expired on Oct. 1, 2001.
“Today’s filing statistics confirm
that we will set a new record for bankruptcies in 2001,” said Samuel J.
Gerdano, Executive Director of the American Bankruptcy Institute. “Hangover consumer debt from the
free-spending ‘90s and a weakened economy today mean more families will face
the need to file for protection well into next year,” he added.
Of the total number of bankruptcy filings for the 3-month period
ending Sept. 30, there were 250,400 chapter 7 filings, a 20 percent increase
from 208,889 chapter 7 bankruptcies filed in the same period in 2000. The next largest group of filings is chapter
13, which increased by 9 percent from 97,609 to 106,475. Chapter 11 filings increased 11.5 percent
from 2,190 to 2,442.
The chapter* breakdown of NON-BUSINESS filings for the 12-month
period ending Sept. 30, 2001, is: 991,337 chapter 7s, 732 chapter 11s, and
406,791 chapter 13s.
The chapter breakdown of NON-BUSINESS filings for the 3-month
period ending Sept. 30, 2001, is: 244,713 chapter 7s, 168 chapter 11s, and
105,100 chapter 13s.
Districts with the Highest Percentage
INCREASE in Total Filings for the 3-month period ending Sept. 30, 2001
(compared to the identical period in 2000)
- District of Guam 70%
- Southern District of Iowa 38.5%
- District of South Dakota 35.2%
- Western District of North Carolina 34.7%
- Western District of Missouri 33.7%
Districts with the Highest Percentage DECREASE in Total Filings for the
3-month period ending Sept. 30, 2001 (compared to the identical period in 2000)
- District for Northern Mariana Islands 33.3%
- District of Puerto Rico 10%
- District of Delaware 2.6%
- District of Alaska 2.5%
More information will be available tomorrow
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and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with
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*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 12 expired on June 30, 2000, and was
not reenacted until June 26, 2001.
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.