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Commercial Bankruptcy Filings Down 22% in 2014

January 07, 2015, 06:59 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

Total bankruptcy filings totaled 910,090 nationwide for calendar year 2014 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31), a 12 percent decrease from the 1,032,572 total filings during the same period a year ago, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. The 875,635 total noncommercial filings during calendar year 2014 represented an 11 percent drop from the noncommercial filing total of 988,489 during calendar year 2013.

Total commercial filings during calendar year 2014 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) were 34,455, a 22 percent drop from the 44,083 filings during the same period in 2013.

“Annual total filings fell for the fifth consecutive year and dipped under 1 million for the first time since 2007,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Sustained low interest rates and high costs to file continue to turn consumers and businesses away from the Bankruptcy Code for a financial fresh start.”
To provide distressed companies better access to the rehabilitative powers of the Bankruptcy Code, the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 released its Final Report in December containing recommendations for modernizing chapter 11 business reorganizations. The Commission’s Final Report recommends improvements to the Code to account for today’s evolving corporate climate and to encourage debtors to file before they have to liquidate.
The 63,090 total bankruptcy filings for the month of December represented a 5 percent decrease compared to the 66,530 filings in December 2013. The 60,625 total noncommercial filings for December represented a 5 percent drop from the December 2013 noncommercial filing total of 63,621. Total commercial filings for December 2014 were 2,465, representing a 15 percent decrease from the 2,909 filings during the same period in 2013. Commercial chapter 11 filings registered a 12 percent drop as the 397 chapter 11 filings in December 2013 fell to 349 in December 2014. Average total filings per day in December 2014 were 2,035, a 5 percent decrease from the 2,146 total daily filings in December 2013.
The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for calendar year 2014 (Jan. 1-December 31) decreased to 2.93 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 3.33 rate during calendar year 2013. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through 2014 were:

  1. Tennessee (6.10)
  2. Alabama (5.28)
  3. Georgia (5.24)
  4. Utah (4.85)
  5. Illinois (4.66)

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.

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