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Total Bankruptcy Filings Decrease 2 Percent in Calendar Year 2018; Commercial Chapter 11s Dip 5 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Total bankruptcy filings during calendar year 2018 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) decreased 2 percent from 2017, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Total filings fell from 766,761 in 2017 to 755,182 filings during calendar year 2018. Total consumer filings also decreased to 717,360 nationwide for calendar year 2018 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31), 2 percent less than the 728,299 total filings during 2017. The 37,822 total commercial filings during calendar year 2018 also slipped 2 percent from the commercial filing total of 38,462 during calendar year 2017. The commercial chapter 11 filing total of 5,470 during calendar year 2018 represented a 5 percent drop from the 5,762 commercial chapter 11 filings in 2017. During the current federal government shutdown, courts remain open to those needing to file for bankruptcy.

“Total filings fell for the ninth consecutive year as high filing costs continue to weigh on struggling businesses and families,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As the recommendations of ABI’s Chapter 11 Commission aim to remove barriers to filing for distressed businesses, we look forward to the final report in the Spring by ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy to improve the bankruptcy system for financially strained consumers.”

To review the final recommendations of the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, please click here. ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy is preparing to release its final report of recommendations at ABI’s 2019 Annual Spring Meeting set for April 11-14 in Washington, D.C. To view the ongoing work of the Consumer Commission, including videos of open meetings and prepared witness testimony, please click here.

Monthly commercial chapter 11 filings dropped sharply year-over-year. The 453 commercial chapter 11 filings in December 2018 were a 36 percent decrease over the 703 filings in December 2017. The 2,893 total commercial filings in December 2018 represented a 6 percent decrease from the 3,072 total commercial filings during the same period in 2017. Total bankruptcy filings for the month of December dropped 1 percent to 52,020 from the 52,545 filings in December 2017. The 49,127 total noncommercial filings for December also represented a 1 percent decrease from the December 2017 noncommercial filing total of 49,473.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for calendar year 2018 (Jan. 1-December 31) decreased slightly to 2.43 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 2.47 rate during calendar year 2017. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through 2018 were:

1. Alabama (5.63)

2. Tennessee (5.38)

3. Georgia (4.57)

4. Mississippi (4.25)

5. Illinois (3.66)

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. 

For further information about the statistics or additional requests, please contact ABI Public Affairs Manager John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or


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


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