Contact: John Hartgen
CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS REACH HIGHEST MONTHLY TOTAL SINCE 2005
April 2, 2010 Alexandria,
Va. —The 149,268 consumer bankruptcies filed in March
represented the highest monthly consumer filing total since Congress
overhauled the Bankruptcy Code in 2005, according to the American
Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) relying on data from the National Bankruptcy
Research Center (NBKRC). The March filing total represented a 34 percent
increase from the February filing total of 111,693 and a 23
percent increase from March 2009 total of 121,413. Chapter 13 filings
constituted 25 percent of all consumer cases in March, representing a 2
percent decrease from February.
“The sustained economic
pressures of unemployment coupled with high pre-existing debt burdens
are a formula for consumer filings to surpass 1.5 million
filings,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano.
“As consumers continue to look to bankruptcy for financial
shelter, annual filings will likely equal those averaged in the years
leading up to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection
Act of 2005.”
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
12,600 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.
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
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.