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January Total Bankruptcy Filings Up 5 Percent from 2016, First Consecutive Monthly Year-over-Year Increases Since 2010

Alexandria, Va. Total U.S. bankruptcy filings increased 5 percent in January 2017 from the same period last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 55,212 in January 2017, up from the January 2016 total of 52,560. With the total filings in both December 2016 and January 2017 increasing 5 percent over the previous year, total bankruptcies registered back-to-back monthly gains for the first time since 2010. Consumer filings also increased 5 percent in January 2017 to 52,421 from the January 2016 consumer filing total of 49,733. Total commercial filings decreased slightly in January 2017 to 2,791, representing a 1 percent decrease from the 2,827 business filings recorded in January 2016. The 398 total commercial chapter 11 filings in January 2017 represented a decrease of 19 percent from January 2016’s total of 494.

“While bankruptcies plunged last year to their lowest levels since the implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, filings are beginning to climb," said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As interest rates increase and the cost of borrowing rises, more debt-burdened consumers and businesses may seek the financial shelter of bankruptcy.”

Total bankruptcy filings for the month of January 2017 decreased 2 percent compared to the 56,414 total filings registered in December 2016. Total noncommercial filings for January 2017, 52,421, also represented a 2 percent decrease from the December 2016 noncommercial filing total of 53,469. The January 2017 commercial filing total of 2,791 represented a 5 percent decrease from the December 2016 commercial filing total of 2,945. January 2017’s 398 commercial chapter 11 filings, however, represented an 18 percent increase from the 337 filings recorded the previous month.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy-filing rate in January 2017 was 2.13 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a decrease from December 2016’s rate of 2.48. Average total filings per day in January 2017 were 2,629, a 5 percent decrease from the 2,766 total daily filings recorded in January 2016 (due to 21 filing days during the month in 2017 versus 19 filing days in January 2016). States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in January 2017 were:

1. Alabama (5.43)

2. Tennessee (5.08)

3. Georgia (4.30)

4. Arkansas (3.44)

5. Illinois (3.41)

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 more than 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.