BANKRUPTCY FILINGS UP 34 PERCENT, BUSINESS FILINGS UP 61 PERCENT IN
December 15, 2008 Alexandria, Va.— The 292,291 total U.S. bankruptcies filed during the third
quarter of 2008 (July 1 – Sept. 30) represented a 34 percent
increase over the 218,909 cases filed over the same period in 2007,
according to data released today by the Administrative Office of the
U.S. Courts. Total filings for the first nine months of 2008 (Jan. 1
– Sept. 30) were up 35 percent to 841,496, compared to the 622,999
filings during the same period in 2007.
“The dramatic spike
in both personal and business bankruptcies reflects an economy in
distress, with worried consumers over-extended and unable to supply the
spending typically needed to keep the national economy going,”
said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano.
The 29,960 business
bankruptcies recorded during the first three quarters of 2008 (Jan. 1
– Sept. 30) have eclipsed the full year 2007 (Jan. 1- Dec. 31)
business filing total of 28,137. Business filings represented the
sharpest increase during the three-month period ending Sept. 30, 2008,
with 11,504 filings, up 61 percent over the 7,167 business filings in
2007. Chapter 11 business filings spiked to 2,485 during the third
quarter of 2008, an increase of 76 percent over the 1,410 filings during
the similar period in 2007. Chapter 7 business filings also increased to
7,927 during the three-month period ending Sept. 30, 2008, representing
a 65 percent increase over the 4,816 filings during the similar period
Consumer filings totaled
280,787 during the third quarter of 2008 (July 1-Sept. 30), representing
a 33 percent increase over the 211,742 filed during the same period of
2007. Consumer chapter 7 filings during the 2008 third quarter totaled
187,227, an increase of 47 percent over the 2007 third quarter total of
127,192. Chapter 13 consumer filings also increased during the
three-month period ending Sept. 30, 2008, with the 93,333 filings,
representing an 11 percent increase over the 84,376 filings during the
same period in 2007.
The 1,042,993 total filings for
the 12-month period ending Sept. 30 were up more than 30 percent from
the same period in 2007, which totaled 801,269. The bankruptcy filing
rate per thousand U.S. residents totaled 3.38 for all chapters during
the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2008, as 2.21 Americans per
thousand filed for chapter 7 while 1.15 per thousand filed for chapter
13 bankruptcy, all increases from the similar period a year ago.
Tennessee was the state with the highest per capita filing rate in the
country, with 7.27 residents per thousand filing in all chapters, and
also had the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 13 filings at
4.16. The state with the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 7
bankruptcy was Nevada at 4.30 per thousand for the 12-month period ended
Sept. 30, 2008.
Nonbusiness filings for the
12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2008, totaled 1,004,342, an increase of
30 percent from the 775,344 total nonbusiness filings calculated over
the same period in 2007. Business filings for the 12-month period ending
Sept. 30, 2008, totaled 38,651, up 49 percent from the 25,925 bankruptcy
petitions filed in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007.
The 679,982 total chapter 7
filings for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2008, represent a 40
percent increase from the 484,162 filings from the same period in 2007.
Chapter 11 filings also increased, rising 49 percent to 8,799 in 2008
from 5,888 in 2007. Total chapter 13 filings increased 14 percent to
353,828 in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2008, from 310,802 in
the same period last year. Chapter 12 filings, however, decreased 8
percent from 361 in 2007 to 332.
BUSINESS FILINGS for the 3-month
period ending Sept. 30, 2008, totaled 11,504, up 61 percent from the
7,167 bankruptcy business cases filed in the same period in 2007.
for the 3-month period ending Sept. 30, 2008, increased
33 percent from 211,742 in 2007 to 280,787 in 2008.
The chapter* breakdown
filings for the 3-month period ending Sept. 30, 2008, is:
7,927 chapter 7s, 2,485 chapter 11s, 89 chapter 12s and 983 chapter
The chapter breakdown
of NON-BUSINESS filings for the 3-month
period ending Sept. 30, 2008, is: 187,227 chapter 7s, 227 chapter 11s
and 93,333 chapter 13s.
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 11,500 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,
*Definitions from Bankruptcy Overview: Issues, Law and Policy,
by the American Bankruptcy Institute
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
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.