While the year-over-year comparison showed a decrease in consumer filings, the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) found that individuals seeking this financial protection climbed again in August.
According to data provided by Epiq Systems, consumer bankruptcy filings rose on a sequential basis in August as there were 63,141 consumer filings. That figure is 4% percent higher than July’s consumer total of 61,006.
Meanwhile, July generated a 3% month-over-month gain.
However, when looking at the consumer bankruptcy filing total from August and compare it to the year-ago reading, ABI pointed out the decline came in at 3% against last August’s consumer filing total of 65,316.
Overall, ABI said August bankruptcy filings totaled 66,478, representing a 3% lift month-over-month but a 3% drop year-over-year.
While smaller in total, certain percentages associated with the rises for commercial bankruptcy filings are much more notable.
Commercial Chapter 11 filings in August increased 19% year-over-year as the total rose from 364 to 432. Overall commercial filings also increased in August as the 3,337 filings were a 3% increase over the 3,231 filings in August of last year
“Increasing trade costs and rising debt loads present challenges for financially distressed families and businesses,” ABI executive director Samuel Gerdano said. “Legislation was recently signed into law providing better access to the financial fresh start of bankruptcy for struggling small businesses, veterans and family farmers.”
On Aug. 23, President Trump signed the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, the HAVEN Act and the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 into law. The bipartisan bills, which ABI testified in support of in June, passed the House in late July and the Senate on Aug. 1.
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Turning back to the latest data, ABI shared that the average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in August was 2.51 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight increase from the filing rate of 2.50 during the first seven months of 2019.
Average total filings per day in August were 3,022, up from the 2,980 total daily filings recorded in August of last year.
States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in August included:
1. Alabama (5.68)
2. Tennessee (5.45)
3. Georgia (4.40)
4. Mississippi (4.24)
5. Nevada (3.81)
ABI has partnered with Epiq Systems, a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession, in order to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers and members of the news media.