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October Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Increase 25 Percent, Total Filings Up 11 Percent Over Last Month

Alexandria, Va. Commercial chapter 11 filings increased 25 percent in October 2019 from last month, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. The 520 commercial chapter 11 filings in October 2019 were up over the 417 filings registered in September. Overall commercial filings also increased in October 2019 as the 3,527 filings were 12 percent more than the 3,164 filings last month. The 67,806 total U.S. bankruptcy filings for October 2019 represented an 11 percent increase from the September total of 61,132 filings. The 64,279 consumer filings in October 2019 also represented an 11 percent increase from last month’s consumer total of 57,968.

“Bankruptcy provides an effective shield for financially distressed families, farmers and businesses faced with increasing debt burdens and trade costs,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “New bankruptcy laws are providing better access to the financial fresh start needed by struggling small businesses, veterans and family farmers.”

President Donald J. Trump signed three key pieces of bankruptcy legislation into law on Aug. 23. The “Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019” (P.L. 116-54; effective February 2020) adds a new subchapter V to chapter 11 providing a better path for small businesses to successfully restructure, reduce liquidations, save jobs and increase recoveries to creditors. The “HAVEN Act” (P.L. 116-52) revises consumer filing requirements to exclude VA and DoD disability payments from the monthly income calculation used for bankruptcy means testing. The “Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019” ((P.L. 116-51) raised the debt limit for chapter 12 filings for struggling family farmers or fishermen from $4.3 million to $10 million. To view a webinar of experts discussing the new laws, please click here.

Total bankruptcy filings in October 2019 increased slightly from the October 2018 filing total of 67,593. The 64,279 consumer filings in October also represented a slight increase from last year’s October consumer total of 64,179. October 2019 business filings increased 3 percent to 3,527 from last year’s business total of 3,414. Conversely, the 520 commercial chapter 11 filings recorded in October 2019 represented a 7 percent decrease from the 557 commercial chapter 11 filings in October 2018.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in October was 2.51 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight increase from the filing rate of 2.50 during the first nine months of 2019. Average total filings per day in October 2019 were 3,082, a slight increase from the 3,077 total daily filings in October 2018. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in October 2019 were:

1. Alabama (5.75)

2. Tennessee (5.47)

3. Georgia (4.43)

4. Mississippi (4.28)

5. Nevada (3.82)

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. To view the full monthly statistic tables provided by Epiq Systems, be sure to visit ABI’s Newsroom.

For further information about the statistics or additional requests, please contact ABI Public Affairs Officer John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or jhartgen@abiworld.org.

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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 11,000 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 www.abi.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.

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 http://www.epiqsystems.com.