American Bankruptcy Institute officials noticed August contained the largest year-over-year drop in filings thus far in 2014.
According to data provided by Epiq Systems, total bankruptcy filings in the United States decreased 16 percent in August compared to the same month last year. Bankruptcy filings totaled 75,170 in August, down from the August 2013 total of 88,962.
Consumer filings declined 15 percent to 72,467 from the consumer filing total of 85,125 posted last August.
Total commercial filings in August dropped to 2,703, representing a 30-percent decline from the 3,837 business filings recorded in the same month a year ago. Total commercial Chapter 11 filings dipped 41 percent to 357 filings in August from the 604 commercial Chapter 11 filings registered in August of last year.
“The prolonged drop in bankruptcy filings reflects the financial landscape facing consumers and businesses,” ABI executive director Samuel Gerdano said. “Amid sustained low interest rates and high filing costs, total bankruptcies for the year will fall below 1 million for the first time since 2007.”
Total filings for August decreased 3 percent compared to the 77,500 total filings in July. Total noncommercial filings for August also represented a 3 percent decrease from the July noncommercial filing total of 74,613.
August’s commercial filing total represented a 6-percent decrease from the July commercial filing total of 2,887.
August commercial Chapter 11 filings were unchanged from the 357 filings in July.
ABI indicated filings have fallen every month in 2014 compared to the previous year, as both credit card delinquencies and foreclosures have declined.
The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy-filing rate in August was 3.05 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight decrease from the 3.07 rate registered in the first seven months of the year.
Average total filings per day in August came in at 2,425, a 16-percent decline from the 2,870 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. Tennessee (6.31)
2. Georgia (5.31)
3. Alabama (5.30)
4. Utah (4.95)
5. Illinois (4.85)
ABI partners with Epiq Systems — a 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.