Annual bankruptcy total dips for eighth consecutive year

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - 

The American Bankruptcy Institute looked over the numbers and found that total filings for 2017 dipped 1 percent compared to the previous year, extending a streak of consecutive year-over-year declines that stretches back to 2009.

According to data provided by Epiq Systems, total bankruptcy filings decreased slightly to 766,698 nationwide for the calendar year, landing at 1 percent less than the 772,098 total filings during 2016. The 728,386 total noncommercial filings during the calendar year also slipped 1 percent from the noncommercial filing total of 733,902 in 2016.

Meanwhile, ABI indicated total commercial Chapter 11 filings during the calendar year rose to 5,744, representing a 6-percent increase from the 5,447 filings recorded in 2016. Officials added that there were 38,062 commercial filings during 2017, marking just a 0.25-percent uptick above the 37,968 commercial filings posted during the previous year.

“Total filings fell for an eighth consecutive year as high filing costs continue to weigh on struggling businesses and families,” ABI executive director Samuel Gerdano said.

Looking at just the December data, ABI determined the 52,522 total bankruptcy filings represented a 7-percent decrease compared to the 56,435 filings in December 2016. The 49,497 total noncommercial filings for December also represented a 7-percent drop from the December 2016 noncommercial filing total of 53,468.

ABI calculated that the average total filings per day in December came in at 2,626, a 2-percent decrease from the 2,687 total daily filings in December 2016.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the calendar year decreased slightly to 2.47 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 2.48 rate during calendar year 2016.

States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through 2017 were:

1. Alabama (5.66)

2. Tennessee (5.51)

3. Georgia (4.66)

4. Mississippi (4.12)

5. Utah (3.96)

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

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