Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase Nearly 12 Percent in May

Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase Nearly 12 Percent in May

Contact: John Hartgen
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June 6, 2007, Alexandria, Va. U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings increased 11.5 percent nationwide in May from the previous month, said the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). Relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC), overall consumer filings totaled 69,684 in May, up from 62,489 filings in April. The figure was also up 51.3 percent from May 2006. Chapter 13 filings constituted 36.5 percent of all consumer cases in May, down slightly from earlier this year.   

“Personal bankruptcies continue to be more volatile this year than in 2006,” said Samuel J. Gerdano, ABI Executive Director. “Overall, consumer bankruptcies are higher than last year, but still well below the levels of 2004-05.”


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.