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Low Filing Levels Not Proof that New Bankruptcy Law Is Working as Intended According to Latest ABI Poll

Contact: John Hartgen
             (703) 739-0800
             [email protected]


July 21, 2006, Alexandria, Va. — More than three-quarters of respondents to a recent American Bankruptcy Institute online poll disagreed that supporters of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) can validly claim that the new law is working as intended because bankruptcy filings are now at their lowest levels since the mid-1980s. Sixty-six percent “strongly disagreed” while an additional 11 percent of respondents “disagreed somewhat” that the lower number of filings showed that BAPCPA was working as intended.

Conversely, only 18 percent of respondents agreed that BAPCPA’s supporters could validly claim that the new law is working as intended as a result of the decrease in bankruptcy filings. Eleven percent “agreed somewhat,” while 7 percent “agreed strongly.” Five percent of the respondents did not know or had no opinion on the issue.

The poll is based on U.S. bankruptcy courts statistics showing that bankruptcy filings have dropped off dramatically since the implementation of BAPCPA on Oct. 17, 2005. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts reported that filings during the first calendar year quarter of 2006 (Jan. 1-March 31, 2006) fell to 116,771, their lowest level since 1985. Through June, filings are off over 70 percent from a similar period in 2005.

ABI membership and members of the public were welcome to submit their response to the statement: “Supporters of BAPCPA can validly claim that the law is working as intended because new filings are now at their lowest levels since the mid-1980s.” The latest ABI Quick Poll was open for voting to the public from July 14 – July 20.

ABI’s weekly Quick Poll is posted on ABI’s home page, ABI members and the public are invited to respond to a question on a timely bankruptcy or insolvency issue. Visit to access the results of previous ABI Quick Polls.


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 For additional conference information, visit