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February Total Bankruptcy Filings Decrease 3 Percent from Previous Year, Chapter 11s Up Slightly

Alexandria, Va. Total bankruptcy filings for the month of February 2018 decreased 3 percent from last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. The 56,694 total filings in February 2018 were down from the 58,392 total filings during in February 2017. Consumer filings also decreased 3 percent in February 2018 to 53,899 from the February 2017 consumer filing total of 55,526. Total commercial filings decreased slightly in February 2018 to 2,795, representing a 2.5 percent decrease from the 2,866 business filings recorded in February 2017. The 425 total commercial chapter 11 filings in February 2018 represented an increase of 4 percent from February 2017’s total of 407.

“Amid rising interest rates and fluctuating market conditions, high filing costs continue to divert struggling consumers and businesses from seeking the financial fresh start of bankruptcy,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Both the ABI Chapter 11 Reform Commission and ABI's Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy are working to remove barriers to a financial fresh start for strained businesses and consumers.”

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts on March 7, Robert J. Keach, the co-chair of ABI's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, proposed legislation to provide a viable option for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to reorganize under the Bankruptcy Code. Click here to read Keach’s prepared testimony and legislative proposal.

ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy was formed last year to examine ways to improve the bankruptcy system for financially strained consumers. The Commission will hold its final open meeting at ABI’s Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., in April and will release its recommendations later this year.

Total bankruptcy filings for February represented a 4 percent increase over the January 2018 total of 54,619. The 53,899 total noncommercial filings for February 2018 also represented a 4 percent increase from the January noncommercial filing total of 51,759. The February 2018 commercial chapter 11 filing total of 425 represented a 16 percent increase from the previous month’s commercial filing total of 365. February 2018’s 2,795 commercial filings, however, represented 2 percent decrease from the 2,860 filings recorded in January 2018.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in February 2018 was 2.15 (total filings per 1,000 population), an increase from January 2018’s rate of 2.03. Average total filings per day in February 2018 were 2,984, a 3 percent decrease from the 3,073 total daily filings recorded in February 2017. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in February 2018 were:

1. Alabama (5.17)

2. Tennessee (5.10)

3. Georgia (4.18)

4. Mississippi (3.88)

5. Arkansas (3.46)

ABI has partnered with Epiq Systems, Inc. in order to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers and members of the news media. Epiq Systems is a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession. 

For further information about the statistics or additional requests, please contact ABI Public Affairs Manager John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or jhartgen@abiworld.org.

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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 nearly 12,000 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 www.abi.org.

Epiq Systems is a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession.  Epiq Systems offers innovative technology solutions for electronic discovery, document review, legal notification, claims administration and controlled disbursement of funds.  Epiq System’s clients include leading law firms, corporate legal departments, bankruptcy trustees, government agencies, mortgage processors, financial institutions, and other professional advisors who require innovative technology, responsive service and deep subject-matter expertise. For more information on Epiq Systems, Inc., please visit http://www.epiqsystems.com.