IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Pam Shepherd
Second Quarter 2000 Shows Bankruptcy Filings Still Dropping
August 14, 2000, Alexandria, Va. — The total number
of new bankruptcies filed during the second quarter of 2000 dropped to 321,729,
posting the lowest number of filings in the second quarter since 1996,
according to data released from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
Filings in the 12-month period ending June 30 totaled
1,276,922, which is an 8.3 percent decrease from the previous 12-month period
of 1,391,964 bankruptcies. Personal
bankruptcies for the quarter decreased to1,240,012 (down 8.3 percent when
compared to the second quarter of 1999), and personal filings for the 12-month
period ending June 2000 decreased 10.9 percent over the 993,414 filings in the
same period for 1999.
Non-business or personal filings also dropped from
1,352,030 in 1999 to 1,240,012 in 2000, or an 8.3 percent decrease. Business filings were down from 39,934 to
36,910, which is a 7.6 percent decrease.
Despite the drop, bankruptcy filings nationwide remain
above one million. Since June 1996,
total bankruptcy filings have increased 22.5 percent and non-business filings
have increased over 25 percent. In that
same time, however, business bankruptcy filings have declined over 30 percent. The only chapter to show an increase was
chapter 11, under which filings rose 14.5 percent from 8,684 in June 1999 to
9,947 in June 2000.
“The continued drop in bankruptcy filings
reflects the positive impact that our strong economy has had on household
balance sheets. Still, more than 1.2
million annual new filings present a strain on the bankruptcy system, which
Congress should address by increasing the number of bankruptcy judges,” said
Samuel J. Gerdano, Executive Director of the American Bankruptcy Institute.
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Legislation is pending to add 23 judges in various heavy
caseload districts around the country.
The legislation is included in omnibus bankruptcy reform legislation
that has been held up in the Senate since February.
The chapter* breakdown of personal filings
for the 12-month period ending June 30 is: 864,183 chapter 7s; 772 chapter 11s;
and 375,107 chapter 13s. Chapter 7
bankruptcies represent 69.6 percent of all personal bankruptcies during the
The chapter breakdown of personal filings for
the second quarter is: 317,486 chapter 7s; 181 chapter 11s; and 92, 368 chapter
13s. Chapter 7 bankruptcies represent
77.4 percent of all personal bankruptcy filings during the quarter.
ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, non-partisan organization dedicated
to research and education on matters of insolvency. ABI is not an advocacy
group. Instead, ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress, its members,
journalists and the public-at-large with an unbiased analysis of bankruptcy
issues. ABI’s membership includes more than
7,500 attorneys, bankers, judges, lenders, professors, turnaround specialists,
accountants and other bankruptcy professionals providing a forum of the
exchange of ideas and information. For additional information visit ABI World
*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 whatever non-exempt property the debtor has to give the individual
debtor a fresh start through the discharge in bankruptcy.
Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for both consumer
and business debtors. Its purpose is to rehabilitate a business as a going
concern or recognize 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, 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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