News & Notes from IACC


Total April Bankruptcy Filings Increase 2 Percent over Last Year, Commercial Chapter 11s Increase 11 Percent

Total U.S. bankruptcy filings increased 2 percent in April 2018 over April of last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 71,260 in April 2019, up from the April 2018 total of 69,781. The 67,817 consumer bankruptcy filings in April 2019 were also up 2 percent over the April 2018 consumer total of 66,510. Total commercial filings increased 5 percent in April 2019, as the 3,443 filings were up from the 3,271 commercial filings registered in April 2018. Total commercial chapter 11 filings increased 11 percent to 440 in April 2019 from the April 2018 total of 395.

“The costs of accessing the promised fresh start of bankruptcy add another challenge to families and businesses struggling with heavy debt burdens,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “ABI’s Chapter 11 Reform Commission and Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy have released recommendations to modernize the Bankruptcy Code to provide better access to struggling households and businesses seeking a financial fresh start.”

Both the Senate and House are 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 last month issued its Final Report of recommendations to improve access to the consumer bankruptcy system. Click here to get your copy.

Meanwhile, soaring bankruptcies in the farm belt could benefit from legislation (S. 897, H.R. 2336) that would raise debt limits in chapter 12.

April’s commercial filing total represented a 5 percent increase from the March 2019 commercial filing total of 3,292. Total bankruptcy filings for the month of April, however, decreased 3 percent when compared to the 73,500 total filings recorded the previous month. Total noncommercial filings for April also represented a 3 percent decrease from the March 2019 noncommercial filing total of 70,208. Commercial chapter 11 filings fell 2 percent from the 448 filings in March 2019.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in April was 2.50 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight increase from the 2.42 filing rate during the first three months of the year. Average total filings per day in April 2019 were 3,239, a 3 percent decrease from the 3,323 total daily filings in April 2018. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in April 2019 were:

1. Alabama (5.65)

2. Tennessee (5.42)

3. Mississippi (4.40)

4. Georgia (4.26)

5. Illinois (3.83)

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