November bankruptcy filings soar 21% higher year-over-year
While one specific case triggered a triple-digit spike in commercial filings, individual bankruptcy filings jumped 21% year-over-year in November, according to data provided by Epiq Bankruptcy.
Epiq reported total bankruptcy filings came in at 37,860 in November, up from 31,187 filed during the same month last year.
Experts said individual bankruptcy filings also registered a 21% year-over-year increase, as the 35,608 cases in November represented an increase over the 29,323 filings in November of last year.
Epiq determined there were 20,250 individual Chapter 7 filings in November, a 23% increase over the 16,421 filings recorded in November 2022.
And there were 15,280 individual Chapter 13 filings in November, a 19% jump from the 12,862 filings the previous November, according to Epiq, which shared the information in collaboration with the American Bankruptcy Institute.
“Individual bankruptcy filings continue to rise as support from government stimulus and lender forbearance programs recedes, and ongoing price inflation and higher lending rates put pressure on household balance sheets,” AACER vice president Todd Madsen said in a news release.
“Commercial filings also continue to rise as businesses struggle to refinance debt in today’s higher rate environment,” Madsen continued.
Epiq explained the bankruptcy filing by WeWork in November propelled the month’s commercial Chapter 11 filings to 842, an increase of 141% from the 349 filings registered in November of last year.
The case filed by WeWork on Nov. 6 included 517 related filings, according to an ABI analysis, representing the third-most related filings in a case since the bankruptcy code became effective in 1979.
Experts added overall commercial filings increased 21% to 2,252 in November, up from the 1,864 commercial filings registered in November 2022.
Epiq went on to mention small business filings, captured as subchapter V elections within Chapter 11, increased 79% to 181 in November 2023, up from 101 in November 2022.
“The rebound in filings seen this year is a reflection of the challenging economic environment resulting from the evaporation of pandemic responses, including government stimulus, low interest rates and looser lending terms,” ABI executive director Amy Quackenboss said in the news release.
“Bankruptcy provides a reliable beacon to consumers and businesses struggling to navigate the financial terrain of higher interest rates, tighter lending terms and elevated pricing,” Quackenboss added.
Looking at sequential trends, Epiq reported total and consumer bankruptcies both decreased 7% when compared to their respective October filing totals of 40,663 for total cases and 38,287 for consumer cases.
ABI has partnered with Epiq Bankruptcy to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers, and members of the news media.