September Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase 23 Percent over Previous Year

September Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase 23 Percent over Previous Year

Contact: John Hartgen
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October 2, 2007, Alexandria, Va. U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings increased nearly 23 percent nationwide in September from the previous year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). Yet according to data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC), the overall September consumer filing total of 68,926 represented a 7.6 percent decrease from the 74,607 filings in August. Chapter 13 filings constituted 40 percent of all consumer cases in September, a slight increase over the previous six months. 

“Bankruptcy filings are elevated from a year ago and likely to uptick further through the end of the year,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano.  “Continued pressure on housing markets, combined with high consumer debt burdens, will lead more households to consider bankruptcy as an option to their financial problems.”


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 11,500 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.