Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Fall 15 Percent in April

Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Fall 15 Percent in April

Contact: John Hartgen
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May 14, 2007, Alexandria, Va. U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings fell 15 percent nationwide in April from the previous month, said the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). Relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC), overall consumer filings totaled 62,489 in April, a figure that was up 33.6 percent from April 2006. Chapter 13 filings constituted 37 percent of all consumer cases in April, down slightly from earlier this year.   

“Though bankruptcy filings are elevated from a year ago, overall levels are still at about one-third the rate experienced before Congress changed the laws,” said Samuel J. Gerdano, ABI Executive Director.


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 11,500 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.