Contact: John Hartgen
CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS IN FIRST HALF OF
2008 UP 30 PERCENT FROM A YEAR AGO
July 2, 2008, Alexandria, Va.— U.S. consumer
bankruptcy filings increased 30 percent nationwide during the first six
months of 2008 (Jan. 1-June 30) from the same period a year ago,
according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data
from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The overall June
consumer filing total of 82,770 was 20.7 percent more than the 68,559
consumer filings recorded in June 2007. While the June total represented
an increase over the previous year, it was a 9.3 percent decrease from
the May 2008 total of 91,214 consumer filings. Chapter 13 filings
constituted 32.6 percent of all consumer cases in June, a slight
increase from May.
“The overall trend of rising bankruptcies reflects the growing
financial strain of felt by U.S. households, burdened by high debt,
rising mortgage costs and falling home values,” said ABI Executive
Director Samuel J. Gerdano.
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
11,700 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 <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
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