October Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase Slightly from Previous Month

October Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase Slightly from Previous Month

Contact: John Hartgen
             [email protected]


November 2, 2010, Alexandria, Va.— U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings totaled 132,173 nationwide during October, a 1.4 percent increase over the 130,329 total consumer filings recorded in September, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). While the October consumer filings represented an increase from the previous month, they represented a 2.75 percent decrease from the October 2009 total of 135,913. Chapter 13 filings constituted 29.7 percent of all consumer cases in October, a slight decrease from September.

“As the issues of unemployment and economic stress weigh heavily on today’s elections, consumers continue to seek the financial shelter of bankruptcy,” said ABI Executive DirectorSamuel J. Gerdano. “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  www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit  http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.

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  http://www.nbkrc.com.
*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.