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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                       

Contact: Pam Shepherd           

(703) 739-0800

pshepherd@abiworld.org

 

 

Bankruptcies Fall Again in 2000,

Filings in Fourth Quarter Rise Slightly

February 23, 2001, Alexandria, Va. — The total number of bankruptcies filed during the 2000 calendar year totaled 1,253,444, a decrease of 5 percent from the previous calendar year, when filings totaled 1,319,465, according to data released on Friday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.  The drop in filings was mainly due to fewer chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, particularly chapter 7 non-business filings.

The total number of filings for the fourth quarter of 2000 was 310,169, slightly up from the third quarter 2000 by 0.48 percent but down 2.7 percent from the same period in 1999.  It is the second year in a row that bankruptcies have decreased.

Of the total number of bankruptcy filings for the 2000 calendar year, there were 859,220 chapter 7 filings, a 7.3 percent decrease from the 927,074 filings from the same period in 1999.  The next largest group of filings in 2000 was the chapter 13 filings at 383,894, which rose 0.4 percent from 382,214 in the 1999 calendar year.  Chapter 11 filings increased 6.1 percent to 9,884 in calendar year 2000, up from 9,315 in 1999.  Chapter 12 filings saw a significant decrease by falling 51.2 percent in the 12-month period from 834 in 1999 to 407 in 2000.  This drop is mainly due to the expiration of chapter 12 on July 1, 2000.

“Although filings continued their decline, going down in both 1999 and 2000, most expect bankruptcies to rise significantly this year,” said Samuel J. Gerdano, Executive Director of the American Bankruptcy Institute.

After years of struggling with an overhaul of the bankruptcy code, Congress is now closer to passing legislation that would make it more difficult for people to wipe out their debts.

The chapter* breakdown of non-business filings for the 2000 calendar year is: 838,885 chapter 7s, 687 chapter 11s and 378,400 chapter 13s.  Chapter 7 bankruptcies represent 69 percent of all non-business bankruptcies during the calendar period ending Dec. 31, 2000.

 

The chapter breakdown of non-business filings for the fourth quarter is: 204,450 chapter 7s, 162 chapter 11s and 97,144 chapter 13s.  Chapter 7 bankruptcies represent 68 percent of all non-business bankruptcies during the three-month period ending Dec. 31, 2000.

Business bankruptcies continued to decline in the 2000 calendar year, dropping 6.4 percent over the last year to 35,472 from 37,884 the previous year.  Business filings also decreased during the fourth quarter by 6.7 percent to 8,413 from 9,020 the previous quarter.

The chapter breakdown of business filings for the calendar year 2000 is: 20,335 chapter 7s, 9,197 chapter 11s, 407 chapter 12s and 5,494 chapter 13s.  The chapter breakdown of business filings for the fourth quarter is: 5,023 chapter 7s, 2,107 chapter 11s, 13 chapter 12s and 1,259 chapter 13s.

 

Districts with the Highest Percentage INCREASE in Filings (Business and Non-Business)

From CY 1999 to CY 2000

 

  1. District for the Northern Mariana Islands           25%
  2. District of Guam                                               18.3%
  3. Southern District of Alabama                            14.5%
  4. Middle District of Alabama                               12.1%
  5. Middle District of North Carolina                      10%

.

Districts with the Highest Percentage DECREASE in Filings (Business and Non-Business)

From CY 1999 to CY 2000

 

  1. Northern District of California                           26.4%
  2. Central District of California                              21.1%
  3. Southern District of California                           17.5%
  4. District of Puerto Rico                                      16.7%
  5. District of Hawaii                                              16.2%

 

 

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 over 7,600 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 http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.

 

 

*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; typically used to budget some of the debtor’s future earnings under a plan through which creditors are paid in whole or in part.

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