While also giving a projection of how many total filings there might be this year, the American Bankruptcy Institute reported total U.S. bankruptcy filings fell 15 percent in the first quarter compared to the same span last year.

According to data provided by Epiq Systems, bankruptcy filings totaled 205,705 in Q1, off by 15 percent from the 231,829 filings registered in the first quarter of last year.

Total commercial filings for the first three months of 2015 came in at 7,392, representing a 19-percent decrease from the 9,135 filings during the same period a year ago.

The 198,313 total noncommercial filings recorded in the first quarter represented an 11 percent decrease from the Q1 2014 total of 222,694.

“Declining bankruptcy totals will likely extend through 2015 as interest rates are still favorable for businesses and consumer debt levels remain flat,” ABI executive director Samuel Gerdano said.

“Total filings this year could drop as low as 800,000,” Gerdano added.

For the month of March, ABI determined the 81,622 total recorded filings represented an increase of 26 percent from the 65,022 filings registered in February, but they were down 14 percent from the 91,283 filings recorded in March of last year.

The 78,973 total noncommercial filings in March marked a 26-percent increase over the February total of 62,748, but constituted a 10-percent drop from the 87,938 noncommercial filings registered last March.

Total commercial filings in March climbed 17 percent to 2,649 over the 2,274 filings recorded in February, but dropped 21 percent from the 3,345 commercial filings registered in March of last year.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first three months of this year increased to 2.65 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 2.39 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 (5.52)

2. Alabama (5.14)

3. Georgia (4.77)

4. Illinois (4.66)

5. Utah (4.07)

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.