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Contact: John Hartgen
             703-894-5935
             jhartgen@abiworld.org

TOTAL U.S. BANKRUPTCIES IN FIRST HALF OF 2010 UP 14 PERCENT OVER FIRST HALF OF 2009

August 17, 2010, Alexandria, Va.— The total number of U.S. bankruptcies filed during the first six months of 2010 increased 14 percent over the same six-month period in 2009, according to data released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Total filings reached 810,209 during the first half of the calendar year of 2010 (January 1-June 30), compared to 711,550 cases filed over the same period in 2009. The totals represent the highest number of filings for the first six months of a calendar year since 2005, when the Bankruptcy Code was amended.

“Bankruptcy continues to be the last resort for many Americans seeking financial relief from household debt, unemployment and the economic downturn,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “The first half 2010 filings show that bankruptcies are on pace to surpass 1.6 million by year end.”

Business filings decreased 4 percent for the six-month period ending June 30, 2010, to 29,059 from the first-half 2009 total of 30,333. Chapter 11 business reorganizations registered the sharpest decrease, as the 6,152 filings during the first half of 2010 represented a 17 percent drop from the 7,396 total chapter 11 business filings during the first half of 2009. Chapter 7 business liquidations remained nearly unchanged, as there were 20,385 in the first half of 2010, a half percent increase from the 20,375 business chapter 7 filings during the same period in 2009.

Filings by individuals or households with consumer debt increased 15 percent to 781,150 for the six-month period ending June 30, 2010, from the 2009 first-half total of 681,217. Consumers filing for chapter 7 protection increased 17 percent to 571,417 during the first half of 2010 from 489,128 during the first six months of 2009. Consumer chapter 13 filings increased as well, rising 9 percent as 208,778 consumers filed for chapter 13 in the first half of 2010 from 191,458 during the first half of 2009.

The 422,061 total filings for the second calendar quarter 2010 (April 1-June 30) represented a 11 percent increase from the second quarter 2009 filing total of 381,073. Consumer filings increased 12 percent from 365,059 recorded in the second quarter of 2009 to 407,609 filings in the second quarter 2010. Business filings decreased 10 percent from 16,014 in the second quarter 2009 to 14,452 filings in the second quarter of 2010.

The 1,572,597 total filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, represented a 20 percent increase from the same period in 2009, which totaled 1,306,315. The bankruptcy filing rate per thousand U.S. residents totaled 5.05 for all chapters during the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, as 3.64 Americans per thousand filed for chapter 7 while 1.36 per thousand filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Nevada maintained its position as the state with as the state with the highest per capita filing rate in the country, with 11.74 residents per thousand filing in all chapters, and also had the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 7 filings at 8.71. The state with the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 13 bankruptcy was Alabama at 4.16 per thousand for the 12-month period ended June 30, 2010.

Nonbusiness filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, were up to 1,521,989, a 21 percent increase from the 1,251,294 total nonbusiness filings over the same period in 2009. Business filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, totaled 59,608, up 8 percent from the 55,021 bankruptcy petitions filed in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2009.

The 1,133,320 total chapter 7 filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, represent a 25 percent increase from the 907,603 filings from the same period in 2009. Total chapter 11 filings increased 2 percent to 14,272 in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010 from 13,951 during the same period in 2009. Total chapter 13 filings also increased 10 percent to 424,242 in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, from 384,187 during the same period last year. Chapter 12 filings increased 56 percent from 422 in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2009 to 660 for the same period in 2010.

Chapter breakdowns of BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending June 30, 2010: 10,311 chapter 7s; 2,859 chapter 11s; 194 chapter 12s; and 1,071 chapter 13s.

Chapter breakdown of NON-BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending June 30, 2010: 299,369 chapter 7s; 511 chapter 11s; and 107,727 chapter 13s.

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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.

*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 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 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 part.


 

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