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Chapter 11 Filings Inch Up in 2016 After Years of Decline

March 15, 2017, 08:00 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

Chapter 11 filings rose 6% last year to 7,450, after several years of significant decline, according to a new report from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

The AO's annual Judicial Business of the United States Courts for 2016 shows that Chapter 11 cases accounted for less than 1% of all filings. Business chapter 11 petitions amounted to 26% of all business filings, up 2% from 2015.

In 2012, there were more than 10,500 filings for Chapter 11, but those numbers dropped by nearly 3,000 filings through last year. Overall, federal bankruptcy filings including both business and consumer have dropped by have since a peak in 2012. 

Filings under chapter 7 fell 9% to 498,367 and constituted 62% of all filings, down from 64% in 2015 and 69% in 2012. Nonbusiness chapter 7 filings, which accounted for 97% of all chapter 7 filings, also fell 9% and amounted to 62% of all nonbusiness filings, down from 64% in 2015. Business chapter 7 petitions fell 8% and constituted 62% of all business filings, down from 66% in 2015.

Although bankruptcy filings decreased nationwide, with all 12 circuits reporting fewer filings, the rates of decline varied across regions. Districts in the Ninth Circuit had a combined drop in filings of 11 percent. Reductions for the other circuits ranged from less than 1% to 10%.

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