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ABI: January Total Bankruptcy Filings Up 5% from 2016

February 06, 2017, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

Total U.S. bankruptcy filings increased 5 percent in January 2017 from the same period last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 55,212 in January 2017, up from the January 2016 total of 52,560. With the total filings in both December 2016 and January 2017 increasing 5 percent over the previous year, total bankruptcies registered back-to-back monthly gains for the first time since 2010. Consumer filings also increased 5 percent in January 2017 to 52,421 from the January 2016 consumer filing total of 49,733. Total commercial filings decreased slightly in January 2017 to 2,791, representing a 1 percent decrease from the 2,827 business filings recorded in January 2016. The 398 total commercial chapter 11 filings in January 2017 represented a decrease of 19 percent from January 2016’s total of 494.

“While bankruptcies plunged last year to their lowest levels since the implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, filings are beginning to climb," said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As interest rates increase and the cost of borrowing rises, more debt-burdened consumers and businesses may seek the financial shelter of bankruptcy.”

Total bankruptcy filings for the month of January 2017 decreased 2 percent compared to the 56,414 total filings registered in December 2016. Total noncommercial filings for January 2017, 52,421, also represented a 2 percent decrease from the December 2016 noncommercial filing total of 53,469. The January 2017 commercial filing total of 2,791 represented a 5 percent decrease from the December 2016 commercial filing total of 2,945. January 2017’s 398 commercial chapter 11 filings, however, represented an 18 percent increase from the 337 filings recorded the previous month.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy-filing rate in January 2017 was 2.13 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a decrease from December 2016’s rate of 2.48. Average total filings per day in January 2017 were 2,629, a 5 percent decrease from the 2,766 total daily filings recorded in January 2016 (due to 21 filing days during the month in 2017 versus 19 filing days in January 2016). States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in January 2017 were:

1. Alabama (5.43)

2. Tennessee (5.08)

3. Georgia (4.30)

4. Arkansas (3.44)

5. Illinois (3.41)

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