Contact: John Hartgen
FILINGS THROUGH FIRST THREE QUARTERS OF 2007 ECLIPSE LAST YEAR’S
November 19, 2007, Alexandria, Va.— The 623,399 total U.S.
bankruptcies filed during the first three quarters of 2007 (Jan. 1
– Sept. 30) represented a 40.16 percent increase over the 444,789
cases filed over the same period in 2006, according to data released
today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The totals for
both consumer and business filings during the first three quarters of
2007 also eclipsed those reached for the full calendar year of 2006.
“Bankruptcies are up
sharply from a year ago this period, reflecting a growing vulnerability
in household economics,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J.
Gerdano. “The continued stress on the housing market will
likely fuel a continuation of this trend into 2008.”
Filings by individuals or
households with consumer debt increased 40.15 percent to 603,139 for the nine-month period ending Sept. 30,
2007, from 430,364 filings during the same period in 2006. The overall
percentage of consumers filing for chapter 13 protection fell slightly
from 41.41 percent during the first three quarters of 2006 (Jan. 1-Sept.
30) to 38.87 percent over the same period in 2007. Conversely, the
percentage of chapter 7 consumer filers increased to 61.06 percent
during the first nine months of 2007 from the 58.50 percent recorded
during the same period of 2006.
Business filings for the
nine-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007, totaled 20,260, representing a
40.45 percent increase over the similar nine-month 2006 total of 14,425.
Chapter 7 business liquidations totaled 13,290 in the first three
quarters of 2007, a 57.60 percent increase over the 8,433 business
chapter 7 filings during the same period in 2006. Chapter 11 business
reorganizations also rose from 3,644 in the first three quarters of 2006
to 4,130 in the same period of 2007, a 13.34 percent
The 801,269 total filings for
the 12-month period ending Sept. 30 were down 28 percent from the same
period in 2006, which totaled 1,112,542 filings, a figure that includes
a surge in cases filed before the implementation date of a major change
in the law in 2005. The bankruptcy filing rate per thousand U.S. residents totaled 2.62
for all chapters during the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007, as
1.58 Americans per thousand filed for chapter 7 while 1.02 per thousand
filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy. Tennessee was the state with the
highest per capita filing rate in the country, with 6.19 residents per
thousand filing in all chapters, and also had the highest per capita
filing rate for chapter 13 filings at 3.86. The state with the highest
per capita filing rate for chapter 7 bankruptcy was Indiana at 3.20
per thousand for the 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2007.
Nonbusiness filings for the
12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007, totaled 775,344, down 28.55
percent from the 1,085,209 total nonbusiness filings experienced over
the same period in 2006. Business filings for the 12-month period ending
Sept. 30, 2007, totaled 25,925, down 5.15 percent from the 27,333
bankruptcy petitions filed in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30,
The 484,162 total chapter 7
filings for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007, represent a 41.89
percent decrease from the 833,147 filings from the same period in 2006.
Chapter 11 filings also declined, falling 1.92 percent to 5,888 in 2007
from 6,003 in 2006. Chapter 12 filings decreased as well, falling 4
percent from 376 in 2006 to 361 in 2007. However, total chapter 13
filings increased 13.87 percent to 310,802 in the 12-month period ending
Sept. 30, 2007, from 272,937 in the same period last year.
for the 3-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007, totaled 7,167, up 35.64
percent from the 5,284 bankruptcy business cases filed in the same
period in 2006. NON-BUSINESS FILINGS for the 3-month period
ending Sept. 30, 2007, increased 27.66 percent from 165,862 in 2006 to
211,742 in 2007.
The chapter* breakdown of
BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007,
is: 4,816 chapter 7s, 1,410 chapter 11s, 71 chapter 12s and 844 chapter
The chapter breakdown of
NON-BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending Sept. 30,
2007, is: 127,192 chapter 7s, 173 chapter 11s and 84,376 chapter
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, visit http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.
*Definitions from Bankruptcy
Overview: Issues, Law and Policy, by the American Bankruptcy
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.
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.
12 of the Bankruptcy Code is designed to give special
debt relief to a family farmer with regular income from
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