The second quarter began with a rise in bankruptcy filings.

According to data provided by Epiq Systems, the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) reported on Monday that total U.S. bankruptcy filings increased in April by 2% year-over-year. Officials tabulated that bankruptcy filings totaled 71,260 in April, up from the total of 69,781 record in the same month last year.

ABI noted the 67,817 consumer bankruptcy filings in April also represented a 2% lift above the April 2018 consumer total of 66,510.

Total commercial filings increased 5% in April as the 3,443 filings were up from the 3,271 commercial filings registered in April of last year. Total commercial Chapter 11 filings increased 11% to 440 in April, jumping from the year-ago figure of 395.

“The costs of accessing the promised fresh start of bankruptcy add another challenge to families and businesses struggling with heavy debt burdens,” ABI executive director Samuel Gerdano said.

Looking on a sequential basis, ABI noted April’s commercial filing total represented a 5% increase from the March when the total came in at 3,292.

Officials pointed out total bankruptcy filings for April decreased 3 percent when compared to the 73,500 total filings recorded during the previous month. Total noncommercial filings for April also represented a 3% decrease from the March 2019 noncommercial filing total of 70,208.

Commercial chapter 11 filings fell 2% from the 448 filings in March, according to ABI.

The information shared by Epiq Systems went on to mention the average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in April was 2.50 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight increase from the 2.42 filing rate during the first three months of the year.

Average total filings per day in April were 3,239, a 3% decrease from the 3,323 total daily filings in April of last year.

States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in April included:

1. Alabama (5.65)

2. Tennessee (5.42)

3. Mississippi (4.40)

4. Georgia (4.26)

5. Illinois (3.83)

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.