Bankruptcy court activity certainly intensified this summer, potentially creating a large pool of potential customers for buy-here, pay-here dealerships.

According to data provided by Epiq Systems, the American Bankruptcy Institute indicated that total U.S. filings increased 10 percent in August compared to July.

Officials reported total filings came in at 68,499 in August, up from the previous month’s total of 62,223. The 65,335 consumer filings in August also represented an 11-percent increase from July’s consumer total of 59,119.

ABI pointed out that August business filings increased 2 percent to 3,164 from July’s business total of 3,104. Conversely, the 361 commercial Chapter 11 filings recorded in August represented a 12-percent decrease from the 412 commercial Chapter 11 filings posted in July.

“Debt-burdened consumers and businesses look to the financial reprieve that bankruptcy provides,” ABI executive director Samuel Gerdano said. “Both the recommendations of ABI’s Chapter 11 Commission and the ongoing efforts of the commission on Consumer Bankruptcy are focused on making bankruptcy more accessible for distressed businesses and households.”

Officials also mentioned the 68,499 total filings for August marked a slight increase above the 68,231 filings completed in August of last year.

The 65,335 consumer filings in August represented a 1-percent increase from the previous year’s consumer total of 64,865.

August business filings decreased 6 percent to 3,164 from last August’s business total of 3,366. The 361 commercial Chapter 11 filings in August fell 27 percent from the 492 commercial Chapter 11 filings recorded last August.

ABI went on to note 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 2.49 during the first seven months of this year.

Average total filings per day in August were 2,978, a slight increase from the 2,967 total daily filings in August of last year.

States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in August included:

1. Alabama (5.73)

2. Tennessee (5.56)

3. Georgia (4.62)

4. Mississippi (4.32)

5. Illinois (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.