Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Increase 17 Percent in August from Last Year, Total Filings Drop 41 Percent

Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Increase 17 Percent in August from Last Year, Total Filings Drop 41 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Commercial chapter 11 filings increased 17 percent in August 2020 from last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. The 526 commercial chapter 11 filings in August 2020 were up over the 450 filings registered in August 2019. All other filing categories registered decreases from last year. The 39,349 total U.S. bankruptcy filings for August 2020 represented a 41 percent decrease from the August 2019 total of 66,530 filings. The 36,877 consumer filings in August 2020 also represented a 42 percent decrease from last year’s consumer total of 63,132. Overall commercial filings in August 2020 totaled 2,472 filings, down 27 percent from the 3,398 filings in August 2019.

“A number of key factors continued to keep bankruptcy filings from overwhelming the court system,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “The CARES Act helped businesses and consumers initially weather the economic shock of the pandemic, collection, eviction and foreclosure activity was largely suspended, and quarantining measures presented challenges for struggling debtors to meet with attorneys. However, with the expiration of government stabilization programs, elevated unemployment levels and growing economic uncertainty, we anticipate a dramatic climb in filings later this year.”

Total bankruptcy filings in August 2020 represented an 8 percent decrease from the 42,865 total filings in July. The 36,877 consumer filings in August also represented an 8 percent decrease from July’s consumer total of 40,085. August 2020 business filings decreased 11 percent to 2,472 from July’s business total of 2,780. The 526 commercial chapter 11 filings recorded in August 2020 represented an 18 percent decrease from the 644 commercial chapter 11 filings in July.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in August was 1.84 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight decrease from the filing rate of 1.89 during the first seven months of 2020. Average total filings per day in August 2020 were 1,874, a decrease of 38 percent from the 3,024 total daily filings in August 2019. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in August 2020 were:


1. Alabama (4.16)

2. Tennessee (3.65)

3. Delaware (3.49)

4. Mississippi (3.21)

5. Georgia (3.02)

ABI has partnered with Epiq in order to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers and members of the news media. Epiq is a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession. To view the full monthly statistical tables provided by Epiq, be sure to visit ABI’s Newsroom.

ABI’s COVID-19 Resources website is continually being updated for bankruptcy professionals and the public to access essential information and analysis regarding the financial distress being inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The site features exclusive ABI content on the crisis, weekly filing statistics, recommended member analysis, industry sector news, charts and more. Also, ABI’s SBRA Resources webpage is routinely updated with information, statistics, analysis and events related to the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, which went into effect this year to make bankruptcy more accessible, efficient and cheaper for struggling small businesses.

For further information about the statistics or additional requests, please contact ABI Public Affairs Officer John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or [email protected].


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 nearly 11,000 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 For additional conference information, visit

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