Bankruptcy filings jumped on both a year-over-year and month-over-month basis to begin 2019.
According to data provided by Epiq Systems, the American Bankruptcy Institute reported that U.S. bankruptcy filings increased 11 percent in January from December. Officials said bankruptcy filings totaled 57,618 in January, up from the 52,037 total filings registered in December.
Consumer filings also increased 11 percent in January to 54,711 from the December noncommercial filing total of 49,105.
Conversely, the January commercial filing total of 2,907 represented a 1-percent decrease from the December commercial filing total of 2,932, and January’s 365 commercial Chapter 11 filings fell 20 percent from the 455 commercial Chapter 11 filings recorded in December.
“Struggling businesses and families trying to climb out of financial distress are confronted with high filing costs and challenging global economic conditions,” ABI executive director Samuel Gerdano said.
“ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy will release a report in the Spring to improve the bankruptcy system for financially strained consumers, while recommendations from ABI’s Chapter 11 Reform Commission provide a blueprint to improve bankruptcy access for troubled businesses,” Gerdano continued.
Looking at the data on a year-over-year comparison, officials determined total bankruptcy filings in January increased 5 percent from the same month in 2018, which had 54,650 filings.
Consumer filings increased 6 percent in January 2019 to 54,711 from the January 2018 consumer filing total of 51,758.
Total commercial filings also increased slightly year-over-year in January as the figure represented a 1-percent rise from the 2,892 business filings recorded in January 2018.
Officials went on to mention the average nationwide per capita bankruptcy-filing rate in January was 2.23 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a decrease from December’s rate of 2.43. Average total filings per day in January were 2,744, a 6-percent increase from the 2,602 total daily filings recorded in January.
States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in January included:
1. Alabama (5.30)
2. Tennessee (5.05)
3. Mississippi (4.19)
4. Georgia (4.13)
5. Arkansas (3.65)
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.