March Bankruptcy Filings Down 3 Percent from 2018, Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Decrease 13 Percent

March Bankruptcy Filings Down 3 Percent from 2018, Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Decrease 13 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Total bankruptcy filings for the month of March 2019 decreased 3 percent from this time last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. The 73,476 total filings in March 2019 were down from the 76,060 total filings during March 2018. Consumer filings also decreased 3 percent in March 2019 to 70,228 from the March 2018 consumer filing total of 72,351. Total commercial filings decreased 12 percent in March 2019 to 3,248 from the 3,709 business filings recorded in March 2018. The 434 total commercial chapter 11 filings in March 2019 marked a 44 percent decrease from March 2018’s total of 774.

“Access to the fresh start of bankruptcy remains a key issue for financially struggling families and businesses,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Next week, ABI's Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy will unveil its final recommendations to remove barriers to the consumer bankruptcy system. Momentum also continues to build for implementing the Code improvements suggested by ABI’s Chapter 11 Reform Commission to aid distressed businesses.”

ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy next Thursday will unveil its Final Report of recommendations to make consumer bankruptcy more accessible for financially struggling Americans. The report will be made available on April 11 at 9 a.m. EDT at, and you can access a special briefing on the site at 10 a.m. EDT by Commission leadership.

To review the final recommendations of the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, please click here.

Total U.S. bankruptcy filings fell slightly to 187,245 in the first quarter of 2019, down 0.11 percent from the 187,444 filings registered in the first calendar quarter of 2018. The 177,882 total noncommercial filings in the first calendar quarter of 2019 also registered a slight decrease from the first quarter 2018 total of 177,979. Total commercial filings fell 1 percent during the first three months of 2019 to 9,363 from the 9,465 filings during the same period in 2018. Total commercial chapter 11 filings dropped 6 percent from 1,585 in the first quarter last year to 1,483 during the first three months of 2019.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first three months of 2019 increased to 2.42 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 2.20 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 2019 were:

1. Alabama (5.60)

2. Tennessee (5.43)

3. Mississippi (4.38)

4. Georgia (4.29)

5. Illinois (3.74)

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