February Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase 11 Percent from Previous Month

February Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase 11 Percent from Previous Month

Contact: John Hartgen
             [email protected]



March 1, 2011, Alexandria, Va.— February consumer bankruptcies increased 11 percent nationwide from January 2011, 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 February reached 102,686, up from the 92,669 consumer filings recorded in January 2011.
“Though consumers are striving to reduce their debt burden, high unemployment and a still-poor housing sector continue to fuel new bankruptcies,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “We expect these factors to lead to over 1.5 million consumer filings this year.'
Though an increase from the January 2011 filings, the February 2011 consumer bankruptcy total represents an 8 percent decrease from the 111,693 filings recorded in February 2010. Chapter 13 filings constituted 30 percent of all consumer cases in February, a slight decrease from January.


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 12,800 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