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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(703) 739-0800

 

Quarterly Bankruptcy Filings Drop Once Again 

August 9, 1999, Alexandria, Va.—The total number of new bankruptcies filed during the second quarter of 1999 dropped off to 345,956, from a record 373,460 cases filed during the same period a year ago, according to data released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

The number of bankruptcies filed during the 12-month period ending June 30, 1999 totaled 1,391,964, a decrease of 2.62 percent from the previous 12-month period, when filings totaled a record 1,429,451 cases.

The statistics are released as the Senate leaves Washington for the August recess. When Congress returns after Labor Day, the Senate plans to consider S. 625, the "Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1999," legislation targeting the increase in bankruptcy filings over the past several years. The House passed a similar bill (H.R. 833) in May. "While bankruptcy filings are still very high, the trend over the past six months suggests that 1999 will fall short of last year’s record pace, and may relax some pressure to reform current law," said Sam Gerdano, ABI Executive Director.

Personal bankruptcies account for 97.13% of the total new cases filed in the last 12-months. These cases decreased to 335,578 in the second quarter, down 7.27 percent when compared to the second quarter of 1998. Personal filings decreased for the first time since 1995 for the 12-month period ending June 30, 1999. The total number of filings during that time was 1,352,030, a 1.97% drop from the previous 12-month period.

The chapter* breakdown of personal filings for the second quarter is: 242,366 chapter 7s, 170 chapter 11s, and 93,042 chapter 13s. Chapter 7 bankruptcies represent 72.22 percent of all personal bankruptcies during the 3-month period.

The chapter breakdown of personal filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 1999 is: 968,807 chapter 7s, 731 chapter 11s, and 382,492 chapter 13s. Chapter 7 bankruptcies represent 71.65 percent of all personal bankruptcies during the 12-month period.

Business bankruptcies continued their decline in the second quarter, consistent with the booming national economy, dropping to 10,378, a 10.16 percent decrease from the same three-month period in 1998. Business filings decreased during the 12-month period ending June 30, 1999 to 39,934, a 20.45% drop from the previous 12-month period.

The chapter breakdown of business filings for the second quarter is: 5,966 chapter 7s, 2,666 chapter 11s, 205 chapter 12s, and 1,532 chapter 13s.

The chapter breakdown of business filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 1999 is: 24,607 chapter 7s, 7,953 chapter 11s, 829 chapter 12s, and 6,512 chapter 13s.

Over the past three months, filings increased in 63 districts and decreased in 31 districts.

For statistics on a particular region, historical trends or to talk to a bankruptcy professional in your area, contact ABI Public Affairs Coordinator Sherri Pascale at (703) 739-0800 or at spascale@abiworld.org. Statistics can also be retrieved online at http://www.abiworld.org/stats/newstatsfront.html.

ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, non-partisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to 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 unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 7,000 attorneys, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists, accountants 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.

Districts With Highest Percentage Increase in Filings  
From July 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999 

1. District of Northern Marianas Islands  125%
2. District of Delaware  43.42 %
3. District of Hawaii  15.74 %
4.     District of Nevada  7.93%
5. District of Wyoming  6.13 %

Districts With Highest Percentage Decrease in Filings
From July 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999  
1. Northern District of Alabama  -12.62 %
2. District of Minnesota  -10.78%
3. Western District of Tennessee  - 9.48 %
4. Middle District of Tennessee  - 9.13 % 
5. Northern District of Iowa  - 8.85 %

*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 and 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 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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Web posted and Copyright © August 9, 1999, American Bankruptcy Institute.


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