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Contact: Carolyn Kanon
             703-739-0800
             ckanon@abiworld.org

TOTAL U.S. BANKRUPTCIES IN FIRST HALF OF 2011 DOWN 8 PERCENT OVER FIRST HALF OF 2010; SECOND QUARTER CONSUMER FILINGS INCREASE 4 PERCENT FROM FIRST QUARTER

 

August 5, 2011 Alexandria, Va. — The total number of U.S. bankruptcies filed during the first six months of 2011 dropped 8 percent over the same six-month period in 2010, according to data released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Total filings reached 745,968 during the first half of calendar year 2011 (January 1-June 30), compared to 810,209 cases filed over the same period in 2010. Total bankruptcy filings increased 4 percent, however, during the second quarter of 2011 (April 1-June 30), which totaled 379,790, from the 366,178 filings in the first quarter of 2011 (January 1-March 31) due to an increase in consumer bankruptcy filings.

"The broad trend of a leveling or even decline in consumer bankruptcies in tandem with a sluggish economy is a reflection of the deleveraging of household debts and tightening of consumer credit over the past year," said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. "Should these trends persist, we expect to see fewer consumer bankruptcies in 2011 than were filed in 2010."

Business filings decreased 15 percent for the six-month period ending June 30, 2011, to 24,680 from the first-half 2010 total of 29,059. Chapter 7 business liquidations also fell by 15 percent, as there were 17,284 in the first half of 2011 compared with the 20,385 business chapter 7 filings during the same period in 2010. Chapter 11 business reorganizations registered the sharpest decrease, as the 5,172 filings during the first half of 2011 represented a 16 percent drop from the 6,152 total chapter 11 business filings during the first half of 2010. Total business filings decreased slightly (1 percent) from 12,376 in the first quarter 2011 to 12,304 in the second quarter 2011.

Filings by individuals or households with consumer debt decreased 8 percent to 721,288 for the six-month period ending June 30, 2011, from the 2010 first-half total of 781,150. Consumers filing for chapter 7 protection decreased 9 percent to 518,097 during the first half of 2011 from 571,417 during the first six months of 2010. Consumer chapter 13 filings dropped as well, decreasing 3 percent as 202,292 consumers filed for chapter 13 in the first half of 2011, down from 208,778 during the first half of 2010. The 367,486 total consumer filings for the second quarter of 2011 showed a 4 percent increase from the 353,802 total consumer filings in the first quarter of 2011.

The 379,790 total filings for the second calendar quarter 2011 (April 1-June 30) represented a 10 percent decrease from the second quarter 2010 filing total of 422,061. Consumer filings also decreased 10 percent from 407,609 recorded in the second quarter of 2010 to 367,486 filings in the second quarter of 2011. Business filings decreased 15 percent from 14,452 in the second quarter of 2010 to 12,304 filings in the second quarter of 2011.

The 1,529,560 total filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, represented a 3 percent overall decrease from the same period in 2010, which totaled 1,572,597. The bankruptcy filing rate per thousand U.S. residents totaled 4.85 for all chapters during the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, as 3.44 Americans per thousand filed for chapter 7 while 1.37 per thousand filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Nevada maintained its position as the state with the highest per capita filing rate in the country, with 10.13 residents per thousand filing in all chapters, and also had the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 7 filings at 7.62. The state with the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 13 bankruptcy was Alabama at 3.92 per thousand for the 12-month period ended June 30, 2011.

Non-business filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, were down to 1,477,426, a 2 percent decrease from the 1,512,989 total non-business filings over the same period in 2010. Business filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, totaled 52,134, down 13 percent from the 59,608 business bankruptcy petitions filed in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010.

The 1,083,671 total chapter 7 filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, represent a 4 percent decrease from the 1,133,320 filings from the same period in 2010. Total chapter 11 filings decreased 11 percent to 12,714 in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, from 14,272 during the same period in 2010. Total chapter 13 filings increased 2 percent to 432,333 in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, from 424,242 during the same period last year. Chapter 12 filings increased 8 percent from 660 in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, to 717 for the same period in 2011.

Chapter breakdowns of BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending June 30, 2011: 8,669 chapter 7s; 2,567 chapter 11s; 166 chapter 12s; and 881 chapter 13s.

Chapter breakdown of NON-BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending June 30, 2011: 265,759 chapter 7s; 441 chapter 11s; and 101,286 chapter 13s.

Districts with the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE INCREASE in total filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011 (compared to the identical period in 2010):

  1. Southern District of Florida: 15.1%
  2. Central District of California: 13.0%
  3. District of Utah: 12.8%
  4. Southern District of Texas: 4.9%
  5. Western District of Washington: 4.2%

Districts with the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE DECREASE in total filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011 (compared to the identical period in 2010):

  1. District of Northern Mariana Islands: -69.2%
  2. District of Vermont: -18.9%
  3. Southern District of West Virginia: -18.6%
  4. Western District of New York: -16.9%
  5. Northern District of West Virginia: -14.7%

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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 13,000 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 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; 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 part.

 


 

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