Pretty much any way you want to examine the data, new bankruptcy filings are increasing.

According to data provided this week by Epiq Bankruptcy, the 120,094 total bankruptcy filings registered during the first quarter represented a 14% increase from the 105,497 total filings during the same period last year.

Epiq reported consumer filings increased 13% to 112,981 filings in the first quarter, up from the 99,677 consumer filings during the same quarter in 2023.

Analysts found that individual Chapter 7 filings in Q1 came in at 66,861, marking a 17% increase year-over-year from the 57,158 individual Chapter 7 filings during the same quarter last year.

Epiq added individual Chapter 13 filings during Q1 totaled 45,958, representing a 9% increase over the 42,362 individual Chapter 13 filings posted a year ago.

Analysts mentioned commercial Chapter 11 filings (including subchapter V) registered the largest increase in Epiq’s database, as the 1,894 filings during the first quarter were up 43 percent from the 1,325 total commercial Chapter 11 cases in Q1 of last year.

Epiq went on to note that total overall commercial bankruptcies increased 22% in Q1, as the 7,113 filings surpassed the 5,820 commercial filings during the first quarter of 2023.

“As we expected, the upward trajectory in both commercial and individual related bankruptcy filing volumes continue,” Epiq AACER vice president Michael Hunter said. “March marks 20 consecutive months that total, individual, and commercial bankruptcy filings have registered monthly year-over-year increases.

“Factors contributing to this trend are the higher cost of funds and interest rates, a reduction in consumer discretionary spending, higher housing costs, and a continued drawdown of excess savings,” Hunter continued in a news release. “These factors coupled with the post-pandemic anticipated normalization of bankruptcy volumes lead me to believe this upward trend will continue through 2024.”

Looking at just March, Epiq reported new bankruptcy filings also registered year-over-year increases across all U.S. major filing categories.

Analysts said a total of 44,453 new bankruptcies were filed in March, up 5% from the 42,412 filings registered last March.

Epiq noted total individual filings in March increased 5% to 42,019 versus 40,040 in March 2023.

Individual Chapter 7 filings rose 7% to 26,124 versus 24,455 in March of last year, and individual Chapter 13 filings ticked up 2% to 15,844 versus 15,532 in the same month a year ago.

“Bankruptcy is an indispensable tool for distressed consumers and businesses aiming to repair their balance sheets in this challenging economic environment,” American Bankruptcy Institute executive Director Amy Quackenboss said in the news release.

“As the expanded eligibility limit that enabled more struggling small businesses to reorganize under subchapter V is set to expire in June, ABI’s Subchapter V Task Force will soon be releasing its final report urging Congress to extend or permanently maintain the increased limit, allowing more small businesses to successfully restructure, reduce liquidations and save jobs,” Quackenboss went on to say.