November Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Drop 13 Percent from October

November Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Drop 13 Percent from October

Contact: John Hartgen
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December 1, 2010,  Alexandria, Va. - U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings  totaled  114,587 nationwide during November, a 13.3 percent drop from  the  132,173  total consumer filings  recorded in October, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). While the November consumer filings represented a decrease from the previous month, they represented a 2.2 percent increase from the November 2009 total of 112,152.  Chapter 13 filings constituted 29.6 percent of all consumer cases in November, a slight decrease from October.

'The drop in consumer filings from October is perhaps a positive step that the deleveraging of the U.S. consumer may be underway, after years of expanding consumer debt,' said ABI Executive Director  Samuel J. Gerdano. 'Still, we anticipate that there will be nearly 1.6 million consumer bankruptcy filings by year end.'



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 12,600 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.