September Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Up 33 Percent over Last Year; Total Filings Increase 6 Percent

September Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Up 33 Percent over Last Year; Total Filings Increase 6 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Commercial chapter 11 filings totaled 414 in September, a 33 percent increase over September 2018’s total of 312 filings, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Overall business filings increased 11 percent to 3,129 filings in September from September 2018’s total of 2,822 business filings. Total U.S. filings registered 61,113 in September 2019, up 6 percent from last September’s total of 57,619. The 57,984 consumer filings in September also represented a 6 percent increase from the September 2018 consumer total of 54,797.

“Bankruptcy provides the reprieve needed for financially distressed families and businesses dealing with increasing costs and debt loads,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Recently enacted laws update the Bankruptcy Code to improve access to bankruptcy for struggling Main Street businesses, farmers and veterans looking to achieve a financial fresh start.”

The “Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019” (SBRA; Public Law No: 116-54), “HAVEN Act” (Public Law No: 116-52) and “Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019” (Public Law No: 116-51) were signed into law by President Trump on Aug. 23. The bipartisan bills, which ABI testified in support of in June, passed the House in late July and the Senate on August 1. The provisions of the Family Farmer Relief Act and HAVEN Act are now in effect and the SBRA becomes effective in February 2020. For more information on the legislation, watch this ABI media webinar.

Total U.S. bankruptcy filings rose 1 percent during the first nine months of 2019 (Jan. 1-Sept. 30) from the same period a year ago as the 580,470 filings were a slight increase from 576,749 filings in 2018. The 551,062 total noncommercial filings through the first three quarters of 2019 also represented a 1 percent increase from the noncommercial filing total of 548,348 through the first three quarters of 2018. Commercial bankruptcy filings during the first nine months of the year increased 4 percent to 29,408 from the 28,401 filings during the same period in 2018. Commercial chapter 11 filings also increased during the first nine months of 2019, as the 4,127 filings represented an 8 percent upturn from the 3,805 chapter 11 filings during the first nine months of 2018.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first nine calendar months of 2019 (Jan. 1-Sept. 30) decreased slightly to 2.5 (total filings per 1,000 population) from the 2.51 rate for the first eight months of the year. The average daily filing total in September 2019 was 3,056, a 1 percent increase from the 3,033 total daily filings registered in September 2018. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) through the first nine months of 2019 were:

1. Alabama (5.67)

2. Tennessee (5.45)

3. Georgia (4.41)

4. Mississippi (4.23)

5. Nevada (3.80)

For further information about the statistics or additional requests, please contact ABI Public Affairs Officer 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 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 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