April Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Fall 7 Percent from Last Year

April Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Fall 7 Percent from Last Year

Contact: John Hartgen
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May 3, 2011 Alexandria, Va. — April consumer bankruptcies decreased 7 percent nationwide from April 2010, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The data showed that the overall consumer filing total for April reached 134,720, down from the 144,490 consumer filings recorded in April 2010.

'As consumer debt levels fall and families continue to shore up their finances, bankruptcy filings will continue to drop as well,' said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. 'Consumer bankruptcies for 2011 will likely dip below the 1.5 million filings recorded last year.'

The April 2011 filings also represented a 7 percent decrease from the March 2011 consumer bankruptcy total of 144,657 filings. The percentage of chapter 13 filings for April remained virtually unchanged from March at 26 percent.


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 13,000 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 http://www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.

NBKRC is an online research center that offers subscribers access to up-to-date research and statistics on bankruptcy filings. The database contains complete information dating back to 1995. For more information on NBKRC, please visit http://www.nbkrc.com.

*Definitions from Bankruptcy Overview: Issues, Law and Policy, by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code is available to both individual and business debtors. Its purpose is to achieve a fair distribution to creditors of the debtor's available non-exempt property. Unsecured debts not reaffirmed are discharged, providing a fresh financial start.

Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for both business and consumer debtors. Its purpose is to rehabilitate a business as a going concern or reorganize an individual's finances through a court-approved reorganization plan.

Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code is designed to give special debt relief to a family farmer with regular income from farming.

Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for an individual with regular income whose debts do not exceed specific amounts; it is typically used to budget some of the debtor's future earnings under a plan through which unsecured creditors are paid in whole or in part.