Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase 9 Percent in 2010
Contact: John Hartgen
CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS INCREASE 9 PERCENT IN 2010
January 3, 2011, Alexandria, Va.— U.S. consumer bankruptcies increased 9 percent nationwide in 2010 from the previous year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The data showed that the overall consumer filing total for the 2010 calendar year (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2010) reached 1,530,078 compared to the 1,407,788 total consumer filings recorded during 2009. Annual consumer filings have increased each year since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Prevention Act was enacted in 2005.
“The steady climb of consumer filings notwithstanding the 2005 bankruptcy law restrictions demonstrate that families continue to turn to bankruptcy as a result of high debt burdens and stagnant income growth,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “We expect that consumer filings will continue to rise in 2011.”
NBKRC’s data also showed that the 118,146 consumer filings recorded in December 2010 represented a 4 percent increase from the 113,274 filings in December 2009. The December 2010 consumer filings also represented a 3 percent increase from the November 2010 total of 114,587. Chapter 13 filings constituted 30 percent of all consumer cases in December, a slight increase from November.
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 12,600 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.abiworld.org. For additional
conference information, visit http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.
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 http://www.nbkrc.com.
*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.