Bankruptcy filings trend lower through three quarters of 2017

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - 

Through the first three quarters of 2017, total bankruptcy filings have dipped a bit year-over-year.

The American Bankruptcy Institute reported this week that total U.S. bankruptcy filings fell one percent during the nine-month span that concluded on Sept. 30. According to data provided by Epiq Systems, total filings came in at 589,088 cases, down from the 593,206 filings registered during the first three quarters in 2016.

The 560,239 total noncommercial filings through the first three quarters of this year also represented a 1-percent drop from the noncommercial filing total of 564,244 through the first three quarters of 2016.

Commercial bankruptcy filings during the first nine months of the year decreased 0.4 percent to 28,849 from the 28,962 filings during the same period in 2016.

Commercial chapter 11 filings also decreased during the first nine months of 2017 as the 4,200 filings represented a 3-percent drop from the 4,317 Chapter 11 filings during the first nine months of last year.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first nine months of this  year decreased slightly to 2.53 (total filings per 1,000 population) from the 2.55 rate for the first eight months of the year.

The average daily filing total in September was 3,000, a 3-percent decrease from the 3,078 total daily filings registered in September. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) through the first nine months of the year were:

1. Alabama (5.79)

2. Tennessee (5.62)

3. Georgia (4.72)

4. Mississippi (4.17)

5. Utah (4.12)

Looking solely at September data, officials indicated total U.S. filings came in at 60,001, down 7 percent from last September’s total of 64,635. The 57,147 consumer filings in September also represented a 7-percent decrease from last September’s consumer total of 61,384.

Commercial Chapter 11 filings totaled 425 in September, a 16-percent increase over last September’s total of 365 filings. Overall business filings decreased to 2,854 filings in September, a 12-percent drop from last September’s total of 3,251 filings.

“Consumers and businesses looking to stay afloat through financial distress may steer away from the relief of bankruptcy due to high filing costs,” ABI executive director Samuel Gerdano said.

“The recommendations of ABI’s Chapter 11 Commission and the ongoing efforts of the Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy aim to make bankruptcy more accessible for struggling businesses and families,” Gerdano added.

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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