May Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Fall 16 Percent from Last Year

May Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Fall 16 Percent from Last Year

Contact: John Hartgen
             [email protected]


June 2, 2011, Alexandria, Va. — May consumer bankruptcies decreased 16 percent nationwide from May 2010, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The data showed that the overall consumer filing total for May reached 114,803, down from the 136,142 consumer filings recorded in May 2010.
“The continued drop in bankruptcies during 2011 reflects the pull back in consumer credit over the past year, and a reduction in household debt,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano.
The May 2011 filings also represented a 15 percent decrease from the April 2011 consumer bankruptcy total of 134,720 filings. The percentage of chapter 13 filings for May was 27 percent, a one percent increase from April.


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 13,000 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
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
*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.