Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Down 8 Percent Through the First Half of 2011

Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Down 8 Percent Through the First Half of 2011

Contact: John Hartgen
             [email protected]



July 5, 2011, Alexandria, Va. - U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings totaled 709,303 nationwide during the first six months of 2011 (Jan. 1-June 30), an 8 percent decrease from the 770,117 total consumer filings during 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 June consumer filing total of 119,768 represented a 5 percent decrease from the 126,270 filings recorded in June 2010.

'The drop in bankruptcies for the first half of the year shows the continued efforts of consumers to reduce their household debt, and the overall pull back in consumer credit,' said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano.

The June 2011 filings did represent a 4 percent increase from the May 2011 consumer bankruptcy total of 114,803 filings. The percentage of chapter 13 filings for June was 28 percent, a one percent increase from May.


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 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