FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Filings Drop 8.5% in Calendar Year 1999; First Year in Last Four to Show Decline
March 6, 2000, Alexandria,
Va.- The total number of bankruptcies
filed during the 1999 calendar year totaled 1,319,465, a decrease of 8.5 percent
from the previous calendar year, when filings totaled 1,442,549, according to
data released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
The total number of filings for the fourth quarter of 1999 was 318,634,
down 1.5 percent from the third quarter of 1999 and down nearly 10 percent from
the same period a year earlier.
The number of new
filings in 1999 was the first year in the last four not to set a new national
record for bankruptcies.
Of the total number
of bankruptcy filings for the 1999 calendar year, there were 927,074
chapter 7 filings, a 10.5 percent decrease from the 1,035,696 filings for the
same period in 1998. The next largest
group of filings in 1999 was chapter 13 filings at 382,214, which dropped 3.9
percent from 397,619 filings in calendar year 1998. Chapter 11 filings rose to 9,315 in calendar year 1999, up from
8,386 in 1998. Chapter 12 filings also
increased slightly in this period from 807 in 1998 to 834 in 1999.
“The tidal wave of new bankruptcies appears to have subsided
somewhat,” said Samuel J. Gerdano, Executive Director of the ABI. “However,
the high rate of filing demonstrates that U.S. consumers are still under financial
stress, notwithstanding a healthy economy.”
Legislation pending in Congress would limit access to bankruptcy
for some consumers while requiring greater repayment of debts.
Personal bankruptcies account
for 97.12 percent of the total new cases filed in the last 12-months.
These cases decreased to 1,281,581 in the 1999 calendar year down 8.3
percent when compared to the 1998 calendar year. Personal filings decreased during the fourth
quarter to 309,835 a 9.7 percent drop from the third quarter of 1999.
The chapter* breakdown of
personal filings for the 1999 calendar year is: 904,564 chapter 7s; 706 chapter 11s and 376,311 chapter 13s. Chapter 7 bankruptcies represent 70.6
percent of all personal bankruptcies during
the calendar year period.
The chapter breakdown of personal
filings for the fourth quarter is: 215,768 chapter 7s; 178
11s and 93,889 chapter 13s. Chapter 7 bankruptcies represent 69.6 percent of all personal
bankruptcies during the three-month period.
Business bankruptcies continued
their decline in the 1999 calendar year, dropping 14.6 percent over the last
year to 37,884. However, business filings increased during the fourth quarter
by 7.2 percent to 9,637.
The chapter breakdown of business
filings for the calendar year 1999 is: 22,510 chapter 7s; 8,609 chapter 11s; 834 chapter 12s and
5,903 chapter 13s.
The chapter breakdown of business
filings for the fourth quarter is: 5,516 chapter 7s; 2,079 chapter
11s; 164 chapter 12s and 1,576 chapter 13s.
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
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professors, turnaround specialists, accountants and other bankruptcy professionals
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visit ABI World at http://www.abiworld.org.
Definitions from Bankruptcy Overview: Issues, Law and Policy, by the American Bankruptcy
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.
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
12 of the Bankruptcy
code is designed to give special debt relief to a family farmer with regular
income from farming.
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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