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Commercial Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filings Drop 20% Y/Y Ahead of COVID-19 Impact

March 17, 2020, 09:15 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

Total commercial Chapter 11 filings in February 2020 decreased 20 percent over the same period last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. The 547 commercial Chapter 11 filings in February 2020 were down from the 685 commercial Chapter 11 filings in February 2019, the American Bankruptcy Institute reported.

Total commercial filings were 3,084 in February 2020, representing a 4 percent decrease from the 3,203 business filings recorded in February 2019. Total bankruptcy filings upticked 0.1 percent to 56,182 in February 2020 from the 56,144 filed in February 2019. Consumer filings increased 0.3 percent in February 2020 to 53,098 from the February 2019 consumer filing total of 52,941.

“As businesses close and the supply chain endures disruptions due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, bankruptcy provides distressed businesses and consumers the financial shelter they need in these challenging times,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “While the statistics might not show the immediate effects, we expect filings to increase as a result of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

ABI hosted a webinar on March 10 featuring a panel of experts that shed light on the impact, and likely reaction, from various sectors of the economy, as well as suggestions on what may be around the corner in the world economy. Click here to watch a replay of the webinar.

ABI members Thomas J. Salerno of Stinson, LLP (Phoenix) and G. Neil Elsey of Avion Holdings, LLC (Scottsdale, Ariz.) also wrote a column on the coronavirus’s impact on capital markets, supply-chain disruption, hospitality and transportation. Click here to read the column.

The February 2020 commercial Chapter 11 filing total of 547 represented a 13 percent decrease over the previous month’s commercial filing total of 630. February 2020’s 3,084 commercial filings also dropped 13 percent over the 3,535 filings recorded in January 2020. Total bankruptcy filings fell 3 percent in February 2020 from January’s total of 58,150 filings. Total noncommercial filings also decreased 3 percent from the previous month, from 54,615 filings in January 2020 to 53,098 filings in February 2020.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in February 2020 was 2.21 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight decrease from January 2020’s rate of 2.25. Average total filings per day in February 2020 were 2,957, a slight increase from the 2,955 total daily filings recorded in February 2019. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in February 2020 were:

  1. Alabama (5.33)
  2. Tennessee (5.00)
  3. Georgia (4.49)
  4. Mississippi (4.16)
  5. Arkansas (3.50)

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