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April Commercial Bankruptcy Filings Fall 16 Percent Y/Y

May 05, 2022, 07:24 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

Total U.S. bankruptcy filings in April 2022 decreased 21 percent from the previous year, according to data provided by Epiq Bankruptcy, the leading provider of U.S. bankruptcy filing data. Bankruptcy filings totaled 32,508 in April 2022, down from the April 2021 total of 40,931. Noncommercial bankruptcy filings totaled 30,747 in April 2022, also registering a 21 percent decrease from the April 2021 noncommercial total of 38,826. Commercial filings decreased 16 percent in April 2022, as the 1,761 filings were down from the 2,105 commercial filings registered in April 2021. There were 249 commercial chapter 11 filings registered in April 2022, a decline of 15 percent from the 290 filings in April 2021. Small business filings, captured as subchapter V elections within chapter 11, decreased 26 percent to 83 in April 2022 from 112 in April 2021.

“New bankruptcy filing volumes continue to decline as the country emerges from the global pandemic,” says Chris Kruse, senior vice president of Epiq Bankruptcy Technology. “The seasonality we see in March each year also occurred in 2022, and the April decline was expected.”

April’s total bankruptcy filings represented a 10 percent decrease when compared to the 36,059 total filings recorded the previous month. Total noncommercial filings for April also represented a 10 percent decrease from the March 2022 noncommercial filing total of 34,234. The commercial filing total represented a four percent decrease from the March 2022 commercial filing total of 1,825. Commercial chapter 11 filings decreased 15 percent from the 292 filings in March 2022. Subchapter V elections within chapter 11 declined 40 percent from the 138 filed in March 2022.

“Legislation that passed recently in the Senate and is currently being considered in the House would expand the debt-eligibility limits for small businesses and individuals looking to reorganize their finances,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “ABI appreciates the work by Congress to create greater access and a more efficient process for small businesses and families to achieve a financial fresh start.”

The decline of subchapter V elections reflects the return of the debt-eligibility limit to the original $2,725,625 threshold from the expanded amount of $7.5 million first established under the CARES Act of 2020. Legislation was passed in the Senate to restore the eligibility limit back to $7.5 million and cover any subchapter V cases that were pending at the time of the March 27 sunset. Consistent with the recommendations of ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy, the substitute also continues to push for the debt limit for individual chapter 13 filings to be increased to $2.75 million and remove the distinction between secured and unsecured debt for that calculation. Both of the expanded eligibility limits for small business subchapter Vs and consumer chapter 13s would sunset after two years.

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