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Commercial Bankruptcy Filings Down 22% in 2012, Lowest Since 2008

January 07, 2013, 08:06 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

Total bankruptcy filings totaled 1,185,328 nationwide for calendar year 2012 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31), a 14% decrease from the 1,379,658 total filings during the same period a year ago, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. The 1,127,540 total noncommercial filings during calendar year 2012 represented a 14 percent drop from the noncommercial filing total of 1,305,243 during calendar year 2011.

Total commercial filings during calendar year 2012 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) were 57,788, a 22% drop from the 74,415 filings during the same period in 2011. Chapter 11 filings also fell in 2012, as the 7,760 filings represented a 10% decrease from the 8,658 chapter 11 filings in 2011.

“The 2012 filings represent the lowest total since the financial crisis in 2008,” said American Bankruptcy Institute executive director Samuel J. Gerdano. “With low interest rates, reduced consumer spending and continued deleveraging by households, bankruptcy filings will likely continue their decline in 2013.”

The 75,556 total bankruptcy filings for the month of December represented a 22% decrease compared to the 96,527 filings in December 2011. The 71,817 total noncommercial filings for December represented a 21% drop from the December 2011 noncommercial filing total of 90,958. Total commercial filings for December 2012 were 3,739, representing a 33% decrease from the 5,569 filings during the same period in 2011. Chapter 11 filings registered a 25% drop as the 742 chapter 11 filings in December 2011 fell to 559 in December 2012. Average total filings per day in December 2012 were 2,437, a 22% decrease from the 3,114 total daily filings in December 2011.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for calendar year 2012 (Jan. 1-December 31) decreased to 3.83 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 4.46 rate during calendar year 2011. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through 2012 were:

1. Tennessee (6.88)
2. Nevada (6.43)
3. Georgia (6.43)
4. Alabama (5.84)
5. Utah (5.76)

ABI has partnered with Epiq Systems, Inc. in order to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers and members of the news media. Epiq Systems is a provider of managed technology for the global legal profession. 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.

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