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Total Bankruptcy Filings Down 10 Percent in Calendar Year 2015, Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Register First Year-over-Year Increase Since 2009

Alexandria, Va. Total bankruptcy filings totaled 819,240 nationwide for calendar year 2015 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31), a 10 percent decrease from the 910,397 total filings during the same period a year ago, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. The 789,222 total noncommercial filings during calendar year 2015 also represented a 10 percent drop from the noncommercial filing total of 875,648 during calendar year 2014. Total commercial filings during calendar year 2015 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) were 30,018, a 14 percent drop from the 34,749 filings during the same period in 2014.  Conversely, commercial chapter 11s registered their first year-over-year percentage increase since 2009 as the 5,309 filings during calendar year 2015 represented a 2 percent increase over the 5,188 commercial chapter 11s filed the previous year.

“While commercial chapter 11 filings increased slightly last year, total filings fell for the sixth consecutive year and bankruptcies decreased to their lowest number recorded since 2006,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “However, as interest rates increase the cost of borrowing, more debt-burdened consumers and businesses may turn to the financial fresh start of the Bankruptcy Code in 2016.”

The 53,806 total bankruptcy filings for the month of December represented a 15 percent decrease compared to the 63,202 filings in December 2014. The 51,171 total noncommercial filings for December represented a 16 percent drop from the December 2014 noncommercial filing total of 60,700. Conversely, total commercial filings for December 2015 were 2,635, representing a 5 percent increase from the 2,502 filings during the same period in 2014. The 396 commercial chapter 11 filings in December 2015 registered an 11 percent increase over the 357 filings in December 2014. Average total filings per day in December 2015 were 1,736, a 15 percent decrease from the 2,039 total daily filings in December 2014.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for calendar year 2015 (Jan. 1-December 31) decreased to 2.63 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 2.93 rate during calendar year 2014. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through 2015 were:

1. Tennessee (5.73)

2. Alabama (5.36)

3. Georgia (5.02)

4. Illinois (4.34)

5. Utah (4.28)

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 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 more than 12,000 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

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