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Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Increase 26 Percent in First Half of 2020 over Last Year, Total Filings Drop 23 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Total commercial chapter 11 filings during the first six months of the year (Jan. 1-June 30) increased 26 percent to 3,604 from the 2,855 total filings during the same period in 2019, according to data provided by Epiq. Total bankruptcy filings decreased to 298,080 during the first six months of 2020, a 23 percent decrease from the 388,594 total filings during the same period a year ago. Total consumer filings registered a 24 percent decrease, as the 280,649 filings during the first half of 2020 were down from the 368,953 filings during the first six months of 2019. The 17,431 total commercial filings for the first half of 2020 represented an 11 percent drop from the commercial filing total of 19,641 for the first half of 2019.

“Businesses and consumers continue to navigate a challenging economic course as a result of the financial crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “As government lifelines to help stabilize the economy begin to expire, bankruptcy provides a shield for households and companies facing intensifying financial distress. We anticipate filings to begin increasing as a result.”

Total commercial chapter 11 bankruptcies for the month of June 2020 were 609, representing a 44 percent increase from the 424 commercial chapter 11 filings in June 2019, according to Epiq’s data. During June there were a number of notable chapter 11 cases filed, including two more Catholic Dioceses, numerous large energy-related cases including Chesapeake Energy, and a number of well-known national companies such as 24 Hour Fitness, General Nutrition, Libbey Glass and Chuck E. Cheese. More than one-half of the chapter 11 cases filed during the month were actually associated cases filed by the subsidiaries of a larger financial group.

Total commercial bankruptcies slipped to 2,697 filings in June 2020, a 13 percent decrease from the 3,097 registered in June 2019. Total bankruptcy filings in June 2020 fell 31 percent to 42,416 from the 61,102 total filings in June 2019. Noncommercial bankruptcies for June 2020 decreased 32 percent, to 39,719 from the 58,005 filings in June 2019.

ABI’s COVID-19 Resources website is continually 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 that went into effect this year to make bankruptcy more accessible, efficient and cheaper for struggling small businesses.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first six calendar months of 2020 (Jan. 1-June 30) decreased slightly to 1.92 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from 1.98 for the first five months. The average total filings per day in June 2020 were 1,928, a 37 percent decrease from the 3,055 total daily filings in June 2019. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through the first six months of 2020 were:

1. Alabama (4.46)

2. Delaware (3.89)

3. Tennessee (3.88)

4. Mississippi (3.49)

5. Georgia (3.25)

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. 

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

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

Epiq, a global leader in the legal services industry, takes on large-scale, increasingly complex tasks for corporate counsel, law firms, and business professionals with efficiency, clarity, and confidence. Clients rely on Epiq to streamline the administration of business operations, class action and mass tort, court reporting, eDiscovery, regulatory, compliance, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. Epiq subject-matter experts and technologies create efficiency through expertise and deliver confidence to high-performing clients around the world. Learn more at https://www.epiqglobal.com.