August Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Up 29 Percent Over Previous Year Set Post-BAPCPA Record for Single Month

August Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Up 29 Percent Over Previous Year Set Post-BAPCPA Record for Single Month

Contact: John Hartgen
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September 3, 2008, Alexandria, Va. U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings increased 29.2 percent nationwide in August from the same period a year ago, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The overall August consumer filing total of 96,413 also set a single month high since the October 2005 effective date of the new bankruptcy law. Chapter 13 filings constituted 33.2 percent of all consumer cases in August, a slight increase from July. 

“The latest data reflect the growing trend of U.S. consumers to seek bankruptcy as a way out of financial problems,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano.   “We expect bankruptcies to exceed 1.1 million by year end.”


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 11,700 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.