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Total May Bankruptcy Filings Decrease 4 Percent over Last Year, Commercial Chapter 11s Fall 23 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Total U.S. bankruptcy filings decreased 4 percent in May 2018 over May of last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 67,307 in May 2018, a drop from the May 2017 total of 69,732. The 63,982 consumer bankruptcy filings in May 2018 also decreased 3 percent over the May 2017 consumer total of 66,057. Total commercial filings fell 10 percent in May 2018, as the 3,325 filings decreased from the 3,675 commercial filings registered in May 2017. Total commercial chapter 11 filings showed the sharpest decline, dropping 23 percent to 447 in May 2018 from the May 2017 total of 579. 

“Increased borrowing costs added to mounting debts have intensified the financial strain on struggling families and businesses,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Two ABI initiatives are aiming to modernize the Bankruptcy Code to provide remedies for struggling households and businesses seeking a financial fresh start.”

Congress is considering the recommendations of ABI's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 for restructuring small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy, which recently submitted comments to a Department of Education regulatory evaluation of student loans in bankruptcy, will release its recommendations next year.

Total bankruptcy filings for the month of May decreased 4 percent when compared to the 69,760 total filings recorded the previous month. Total noncommercial filings for May also represented an 4 percent decrease from the April 2018 noncommercial filing total of 66,510. Conversely, May’s commercial filing total represented a 2 percent increase from the April 2018 commercial filing total of 3,250. Commercial chapter 11 filings registered an increase of 14 over the 394 filings in April 2018.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in May was 2.51 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight increase from the 2.47 filing rate during the first four months of the year. Average total filings per day in May 2018 were 3,059, a 4 percent decrease from the 3,170 total daily filings in May 2017. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in May 2018 were:

1. Alabama (5.67)

2. Tennessee (5.48)

3. Georgia (4.49)

4. Mississippi (4.36)

5. Illinois (3.87)

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. To view the full monthly statistic tables provided by Epiq Systems, be sure to visit ABI’s Newsroom.

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 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 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