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First Quarter Bankruptcy Filings Down 4 Percent from 2017, Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Increase 22 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Total U.S. bankruptcy filings fell 4 percent in the first calendar quarter (Jan. 1 - March 31) of 2018 from the same period in 2017, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 187,331 in the first quarter of 2018, down 4 percent from the 195,283 filings registered in the first calendar quarter of 2017. The 178,004 total noncommercial filings recorded in the first calendar quarter of 2018 represented a 4 percent decrease from the 2017 total of 185,850. Total commercial filings fell slightly during the first three months of 2018, as the 9,327 filings were down 1 percent from the 9,433 filings during the same period in 2017. However, total commercial chapter 11 filings increased 22 percent from 1,280 the first quarter of last year to 1,562 during the first three months of 2018.

“Volatile market conditions in retailing have led to an increase in commercial cases, while a long-awaited course correction on Fed monetary policy could make credit more expensive for consumers with household debt,” 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.”

INSOL International endorsed recommendations proposed by ABI's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 for restructuring small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Read more.

ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy will hold its final open meeting at ABI’s Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., on April 20 and will release its recommendations later this year.

For the month of March 2018, the 770 commercial chapter 11 filings represented an increase of 64 percent from the 471 filings registered in March 2017. The 75,992 total filings in March 2018 represented a 7 percent decrease from the 81,632 total filings registered in March 2017. Total consumer filings in March 2018 also decreased 7 percent to 72,353 from the 77,908 filings recorded in March 2017. Commercial filings in March 2018 totaled 3,639, representing a 2 percent drop from the 3,724 filings in March 2017.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first three months of 2018 increased to 2.42 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 2.15 filing rate of the first two months of the year. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) for the first quarter of 2018 were:

1. Alabama (5.77)

2. Tennessee (5.51)

3. Georgia (4.54)

4. Mississippi (4.29)

5. Illinois (3.84)

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 [email protected].


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 For additional conference information, visit

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