Contact: John Hartgen
CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS INCREASE 9 PERCENT
January 3, 2011, Alexandria, Va.— U.S. consumer
bankruptcies increased 9 percent nationwide in 2010 from the previous
year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) relying on
data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The data
showed that the overall consumer filing total for the 2010 calendar year
(Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2010) reached 1,530,078 compared to the
1,407,788 total consumer filings recorded during 2009. Annual consumer
filings have increased each year since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention
and Consumer Prevention Act was enacted in 2005.
“The steady climb of consumer filings notwithstanding the 2005
bankruptcy law restrictions demonstrate that families continue to turn
to bankruptcy as a result of high debt burdens and stagnant income
growth,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J.
Gerdano. “We expect that consumer filings will continue
to rise in 2011.”
NBKRC’s data also showed that the 118,146 consumer filings
recorded in December 2010 represented a 4 percent increase from the
113,274 filings in December 2009. The December 2010 consumer filings
also represented a 3 percent increase from the November 2010 total of
114,587. Chapter 13 filings constituted 30 percent of all consumer cases
in December, a slight increase from November.
ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan
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 12,600 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 www.abiworld.org. For additional
conference information, visit http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.
NBKRC is an online research center that offers subscribers access to
up-to-date research and statistics on bankruptcy filings. The database
contains complete information dating back to 1995. For more information
on NBKRC, please visit http://www.nbkrc.com.
*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; it is
typically used to budget some of the debtor’s future earnings
under a plan through which unsecured creditors are paid in whole or in