1Q Bankruptcy Filings Soar

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bankruptcy filings for the first quarter came in as the highest on record at 193,641, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

"This was a 66-percent increase when compared to the 116,771 filings in the three-month period ending March 31, 2006," officials reported. "In addition, filings in the 12-month period ending March 2007 were higher compared to calendar year 2006 filings that totaled 617,660."

For the 12-month period that ended March 31, the Administrative Office said 695,575 bankruptcy cases were filed in federal courts. This represented a 61-percent drop in filings.

"The 12-month period ending March 31, 2006, included the surge in filings that occurred prior to the Oct. 17, 2005 implementation date of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005," executives explained.

The Administrative Office went on to report that the majority of bankruptcy filings involved non-business debts.

"Non-business fillings for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2007, totaled 673,615, down 62 percent from the 1,759,503 non-business filings in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2006," officials said.

Meanwhile, filings involving business debts were 21,690 in March of this year, down 38 percent from the 35,292 filed for the 12-month period that ended March 31, 2006.

Breaking down filings by chapter, the Administrative Officer said Chapter 7 filings dropped 72 percent to 413,294, compared with 1,432,074 filings in the 12-month period as of March 31 of last year.

Chapter 13 filings fell 22 percent to 276,649, compared with 355,756 Chapter 13 filings last year.

Moreover, Chapter 11 filings were down 20 percent, coming in at 5,199, compared with 6,497 filed for the 12-month period ending March 2006. Finally, officials said Chapter 12 filings were up 2 percent from 366 in March 2006 to 372 in March 2007.

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