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Commercial Bankruptcy Filings Increase 26 Percent in Calendar Year 2016, Total Bankruptcy Filings Down 6 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Total commercial filings during calendar year 2016 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) were 37,771, a 26 percent increase from the 29,920 filings for 2015, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. There were 5,438 commercial chapter 11s filings during calendar year 2016, a 2 percent increase over the 5,313 commercial chapter 11s filed the previous year. Total bankruptcy filings decreased slightly to 771,894 nationwide for calendar year 2016 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31), 6 percent less than the 819,431 total filings during 2015. The 733,897 total noncommercial filings during calendar year 2016 also represented a 7 percent drop from the noncommercial filing total of 789,332 during calendar year 2015.

“While commercial filings increased last year, total filings fell for a seventh consecutive year and bankruptcies decreased to their lowest number recorded since 2006,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As the Fed raises rates in 2017 and the cost of borrowing increases, more debt-burdened consumers and businesses may seek the financial shelter of bankruptcy.”

The 56,394 total bankruptcy filings for the month of December represented a 5 percent increase compared to the 53,844 filings in December 2015. The 53,483 total noncommercial filings for December also represented a 5 percent increase from the December 2015 noncommercial filing total of 51,170. The 2,911 total commercial filings represented a 9 percent increase from the 2,674 total commercial filings during the same period in 2015. Conversely, the 333 commercial chapter 11 filings in December 2016 were 17 percent lower than the 399 filings in December 2015. Average total filings per day in December 2016 were 2,685, a 10 percent increase from the 2,447 total daily filings in December 2015.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for calendar year 2016 (Jan. 1-December 31) decreased to 2.48 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 2.63 rate during calendar year 2015. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through 2016 were:

1. Tennessee (5.57)

2. Alabama (5.48)

3. Georgia (4.75)

4. Utah (4.09)

5. Illinois (4.08)

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. 

For further information about the statistics or additional requests, please contact ABI Public Affairs Manager John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or jhartgen@abiworld.org.

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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. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abi.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.

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. For more information on Epiq Systems, Inc., please visit http://www.epiqsystems.com