American Bankruptcy Institute
Join Renew Refer a Colleague Partners Search ABI Store Contact Us Site Map
 
American Bankruptcy Institute
 
About ABIABI MembershipMeetings & EventsOnline ResourcesPublicationsNews RoomConsumer Bankruptcy Center
             
 Print this page
 
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               

Contact: Rali Mileva          

(703) 739-0800

rmileva@abiworld.org

Total Bankruptcy Filings and Non-business Filings Break Records

May 15, 2003, Alexandria, Va. — More Americans filed for bankruptcy during the first quarter of 2003 than in any other previous quarter in history, according to data released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The 412,968 new cases filed during the first three months of 2003 are up 9.0 percent from the same period in 2002. Overall, bankruptcy filings rose 7.1 percent in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2003. Bankruptcy filings rose from 1,504,806 in the 12-month period ending March 2002 to 1,611,268 in the same 12-month time period in 2003. The previous highest total of filings for any 12-month period was in the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2002, with a total of 1,577,651. Total bankruptcy filings first broke the 1.5 million mark in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2002.

“Today’s new bankruptcy record is continued evidence that U.S. households continue to struggle with the burden resulting from consumer debts incurred in the 1990s,” said Samuel J. Gerdano, Executive Director of the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Non-business filings also continued to break historic records, totaling 1,573,720, up 7.4 percent from the total non-business filings of 1,464,961 in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2002. Business filings in 2003 totaled 37,548, down 5.8 percent from the 39,845 business filings in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2002.

Filings increased under all bankruptcy chapters except chapter 11 in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2003. Chapter 7 filings increased 7.1 percent, from 1,059,777 in 2002 to 1,135,436. Chapter 13 filings rose 7.2 percent, from 433,107 for the period ending in March 2002 to 464,369 in 2003. Chapter 12 filings rose 62.5 percent, from 389 in the 12-month period ending on March 31 2002 to 632 during the same period in 2003. Only chapter 11 filings fell, dropping 6.6 percent from 11,477 in 2002 to 10,722 during the 12-month period ending on March 31 2003.


BUSINESS FILINGS for the 3-month period ending March 31, 2003, totaled 8,814, down 9.8 percent from the 9,775 bankruptcy business cases filed in the same period in 2002. NON-BUSINESS FILINGS for the 3-month period ending March 31, 2003 increased 9.5 percent from 369,237 in 2002 to 404,154 in 2003.

The chapter* breakdown of BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending March 31, 2003, is: 5,026 chapter 7s, 2,245 chapter 11s, 162 chapter 12s and 1,358 chapter 13s.

The chapter breakdown of NON-BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending March 31, 2003, is: 285,883 chapter 7s, 242 chapter 11s, and 118,029 chapter 13s.

Districts with the Highest Percentage INCREASE in Total Filings for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2003 (compared to the identical period in 2002):

1. District of Michigan 18.49%

2. District of Colorado 18.32%

3. District of Wisconsin 15.66%

4. District of Arizona 15.09%

5. District of Missouri 13.39%

Districts with the Highest Percentage DECREASE in Total Filings for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2003 (compared to the identical period in 2002):

1. District of the Northern Mariana Islands 25.13%

2. District of Hawaii 17.02%

3. District of Delaware 7.80%

4. District of Columbia 3.63%

5. District of California 2.38%

More information will be available tomorrow 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 was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 9,300 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; 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.

###


 

© 2014 American Bankruptcy Institute, All Rights Reserved