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First Quarter Commercial Bankruptcy Filings Increase 24% Y/Y

April 08, 2016, 07:47 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

Total U.S. bankruptcy filings fell 5 percent in the first calendar quarter (Jan. 1 - March 31) of 2016 from the same period in 2015, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 195,565 in the first quarter of 2016, down 5 percent from the 205,851 filings registered in the first calendar quarter of 2015. The 186,357 total noncommercial filings recorded in the first calendar quarter of 2016 represented a 6 percent decrease from the 2015 total of 198,413.

However, total commercial filings for the first three months of 2016 were 9,208, representing a 24 percent increase from the 7,438 filings during the same period in 2015. Total commercial chapter 11 filings also increased 9 percent from 1,300 last year to 1,419 during the first three months of 2016.

“After 22 consecutive declines in total quarterly filings, the drop-off is tapering as more struggling businesses and households turn to the financial relief of bankruptcy,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Distress in the energy and retail sectors is represented in the increasing total of business filings, and we are also seeing a rise in individual chapter 11 filings.”

For the month of March 2016, the 78,332 total recorded filings represented an increase of 21 percent from the 64,686 filings registered in February 2016, but they were down 4 percent from the 81,693 filings recorded in March 2015. The 74,981 total noncommercial filings in March 2016 represented a 22 percent increase over the February 2016 total of 61,651, but a 5 percent drop from the 79,016 noncommercial filings registered in March 2015. Total commercial filings in March 2016 increased 10 percent to 3,351 over the 3,035 filings recorded in March 2015, and increased 25 percent from the 2,677 commercial filings registered in March 2015.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first three months of 2016 increased to 2.51 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 2.26 filing rate of the first two months of the year. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) for the first quarter of 2016 were:

  • Tennessee (5.70)
  • Alabama (5.45)
  • Georgia (4.64)
  • Illinois (4.46)
  • Mississippi (3.89)

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 leading 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 12,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information.

Epiq Systems is a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession.  Epiq Systems offers innovative technology solutions for electronic discovery, document review, legal notification, claims administration and controlled disbursement of funds.  Epiq System’s clients include leading law firms, corporate legal departments, bankruptcy trustees, government agencies, mortgage processors, financial institutions, and other professional advisors who require innovative technology, responsive service and deep subject-matter expertise.

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