FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BANKRUPTCY FILINGS TOP ONE MILLION
ALEXANDRIA, Va., August 28, 1996 -- Eclipsing the number of bankruptcy filings
last quarter by more than 30,000, the numbers for the second quarter of 1996
have pushed filings for the previous 12-month period above one million for the
first time in history, according to figures released today by the
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Filings reached 297,162 for the
period April 1, 1996, to June 30, 1996 -- an increase of nearly 12 percent over
the previous all-time high of 266,149, set in the first quarter of 1996. Of
this total, 283,170 -- 95.3 percent -- represent non-business filings.
For the 12-month period ended June 30, 1996, bankruptcy filings totalled
1,042,110, a 23.3 percent increase over the same period just two years ago,
ended June 30, 1994, when filings totalled 845,257. Outpacing the increase in
total filings, non-business filings between the same 12-month periods jumped by
25.4 percent from 788,508 to 989,172.
Commenting on the one million filing milestone, Sam Gerdano, Executive
Director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, said, "Today's bankruptcy boom
is the natural result of three years of sustained consumer spending increases
that far outpaced income growth, in an era of greater social acceptance of
For the second quarter in a row, bankruptcy filings are up in every state;
only the Virgin Islands saw a decrease in the number of filings over the
12-month period. For the fourth quarter in a row, the Eastern District of
Arkansas led all 94 federal judicial districts over the 12-month period with an
increase of 51.5 percent.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California remained the
district reporting the largest number of filings in the country with 91,476.
The recent increases have caused the Judiciary to advocate the creation of 11
new bankruptcy judgeships. A bill pending in the House, H.R. 2604, would
establish four additional permanent bankruptcy judgeships in the Central
District of California, as well as one in the District of Maryland and seven
other temporary judgeships throughout the country.
Other districts reporting the largest percentage increase in filings for the
12-month period were: Southern District of Alabama (45.9 percent), District of
New Mexico (42.0 percent), District of Maine (39.1 percent), Middle District of
Pennsylvania (38.1 percent), District of Hawaii (37.9 percent), Eastern
District of Washington (37.8 percent), Middle District of Louisiana (37.3
percent), Northern District of West Virginia (37.3 percent) and Eastern
District of Missouri (37.1 percent).
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 5,200 attorneys, bankers, judges,
professors, turnaround specialists, accountants and other bankruptcy
professionals providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For
more information on ABI, visit ABI World at http://www.abiworld.org
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