The American Bankruptcy Institute reported that total bankruptcy filings in the United States decreased 12 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.
According to data provided by Epiq Systems, bankruptcy filings totaled 231,647 in the first quarter, down from the 263,635 filings registered in Q1 of 2013.
ABI indicated total commercial filings for the first three months of this year were 9,048, representing a 22-percent decrease from the 11,611 filings during the same period year ago.
Officials also highlighted the 222,599 total noncommercial filings recorded in the first quarter marked a 12-percent drop from the Q1 total from last year of 252,024.
“Bankruptcy filings continue to fall due to persistent low interest rates, sustained deleveraging by businesses and households and the high cost of filing,” ABI executive director Samuel Gerdano said.
“Declining year-over-year bankruptcy totals will likely extend through 2014 as companies and families remain committed to cutting costs and shoring up their balance sheets,” Gerdano continued.
When ABI looked at monthly filing rates, officials found all of March’s readings increased in all categories over the previous month.
The 91,234 total recorded filings in March represented a 26-percent increase over the 72,207 filings registered in February, but were down 11 percent from the 102,696 filings in March of last year.
The 87,915 total noncommercial filings in March represented a 27-percent jump above the February total of 69,386, but an 11 percent drop from the 98,569 noncommercial filings in March of last year.
The 3,319 total commercial filings in March increased 18 percent over the 2,821 filings in February, but were 20 percent fewer than the 4,127 commercial filings in March of a year ago.
ABI went on to mention the average nationwide per capita bankruptcy-filing rate for the first three months of this year increased to 2.98 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 2.71 filing rate of the first two months of the year.
States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) for the first quarter were:
1. Tennessee (6.25)
2. Georgia (5.30)
3. Alabama (5.13)
4. Illinois (4.84)
5. Utah (4.65)
ABI has partnered 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.