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Contact: Carolyn Kanon
             703-739-0800
             ckanon@abiworld.org

TOTAL U.S. FY 2011 BANKRUPTCIES DOWN 8 PERCENT OVER FY 2010; FILINGS FALL ACROSS ALL CHAPTERS

 

November 8, 2011 Alexandria, Va. — The total number of U.S. bankruptcies filed during fiscal year 2011 (September 30, 2010-September 30, 2011) dropped 8 percent over fiscal year 2010 (September 30, 2009-September 30, 2010), according to data released yesterday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Total filings during fiscal year 2011 were 1,467,221, compared with 1,596,355 cases filed in fiscal year 2010.

"The decline in consumer bankruptcies is the residue of a sustained debt deleveraging by U.S. households," said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano.

Business filings decreased 18 percent for the nine-month period ending September 30, 2011, to 36,385 from the 43,016 filings in the same period in 2010. Chapter 7 business liquidations also fell by 18 percent, as there were 25,672 in the first nine months of 2011 compared with the 30,192 business chapter 7 filings during the same period in 2010. Chapter 11 business reorganizations registered the sharpest decrease, as the 7,417 filings during the first nine months of 2011 represented a 22 percent drop from the 9,058 total chapter 11 business filings during the same period in 2010. Total business filings decreased 5 percent from 12,304 in the second quarter 2011 (April 1-June 30) to 11,705 in the third quarter 2011 (July 1-September 30).

Filings by individuals or households with consumer debt decreased 11 percent to 1,058,218 for the nine-month period ending September 30, 2011, from 1,179,573 in the same period in 2010. Consumers filing for chapter 7 protection decreased 13 percent to 751,674 during the first nine months of 2011 from 851,423 during the first nine months of 2010. Consumer chapter 13 filings dropped as well, decreasing 7 percent as 305,192 consumers filed for chapter 13 in the first nine months of 2011, down from 326,671 during the first nine months of 2010. The 336,930 total consumer filings for the third quarter of 2011 showed a 9 percent decrease from the 367,486 total consumer filings in the second quarter of 2011.

The 348,635 total filings for the third calendar quarter 2011 (July 1-September 30) represented an 18 percent decrease from the third quarter 2010 filing total of 412,380. Consumer filings also decreased 18 percent from 398,423 recorded in the third quarter of 2010 to 336,930 filings in the third quarter of 2011. Business filings decreased 19 percent from 13,957 in the third quarter of 2010 to 11,705 filings in the third quarter of 2011.

The bankruptcy filing rate per thousand U.S. residents totaled 4.85 for all chapters during the 12-month period ending September 30, 2011, as 3.44 Americans per thousand filed for chapter 7 while 1.37 per thousand filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Nevada maintained its position as the state with the highest per capita filing rate in the country, with 9.66 residents per thousand filing in all chapters, and also had the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 7 filings at 7.34. The state with the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 13 bankruptcy was Alabama at 3.85 per thousand for the 12-month period ended September 30, 2011.

Non-business filings for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2011, were down to 1,417,326, a 9 percent decrease from the 1,538,033 total non-business filings over the same period in 2010. Business filings for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2011, totaled 49,895, down 17 percent from the 58,322 business bankruptcy petitions filed in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2010.

The 1,036,950 total chapter 7 filings for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2011, represent an 11 percent decrease from the 1,146,511 filings from the same period in 2010. Total chapter 11 filings decreased 18 percent to 11,979 in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2011, from 14,191 during the same period in 2010. Total chapter 13 filings decreased 4 percent to 417,503 in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2011, from 434,839 during the same period last year. Chapter 12 filings decreased 5 percent from 707 in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2010, to 676 for the same period in 2011.

Chapter breakdowns of BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending September 30, 2011: 8,388 chapter 7s; 2,245 chapter 11s; 161 chapter 12s; and 902 chapter 13s.

Chapter breakdown of NON-BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending September 30, 2011: 233,577 chapter 7s; 451 chapter 11s; and 102,900 chapter 13s.

Districts with the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE INCREASE in total filings for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2011 (compared to the identical period in 2010):

  1. District of Utah: 6.5%
  2. Middle District of Louisiana: 1.3%
  3. Central District of California: 0.9%

Districts with the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE DECREASE in total filings for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2011 (compared to the identical period in 2010):

  1. District of Guam: -30.8%
  2. District of Vermont: -25.8%
  3. Southern District of West Virginia: -24.4%
  4. Western District of New York: -19.6%
  5. Southern District of Iowa: -19.2%

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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 13,000 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 http://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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