July Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase 34 Percent over Previous Year

July Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase 34 Percent over Previous Year

Contact: John Hartgen
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August 3, 2007, Alexandria, Va. U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings increased 34.4 percent nationwide in July from the previous year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). Yet according to data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC), overall consumer filings totaled 63,600 in July, nearly a 7.2 percent decrease from the 68,559 filings in June. Chapter 13 filings constituted 39.7 percent of all consumer cases in July, a slight increase over the previous three months.   

'The dramatic rise in bankruptcy filings so far this year reflects the reality of the stress that heavy debts put on American families,' said Samuel J. Gerdano, ABI Executive Director. 'The trend line, and concerns about housing markets, could presage even higher rates of filings later this year.'


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 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.