August Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Fall 8 Percent This Month

August Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Fall 8 Percent This Month

Contact: John Hartgen
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September 1, 2010, Alexandria, Va. The 127,028 consumer bankruptcies filed in August represented a 8 percent decrease nationwide over the 137,698 filings recorded in July 2010, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). Though a decrease from the previous month, NBKRC’s data also showed that the August 2010 consumer filings represented a 6 percent increase from the 119,874 consumer filings recorded in August 2009. Chapter 13 filings constituted 29 percent of all consumer cases in August, a slight increase from July.

“While monthly filings are volatile, consumer bankruptcies are still the highest they have been since Congress overhauled the bankruptcy law in 2005,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Consumer filings remain on track to top 1.6 million filings in 2010.”


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 12,600 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 For additional conference information, visit


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

*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.