The fourth quarter began with an uptick in bankruptcy filings; perhaps providing a potential lift of buy-here, pay-here dealership customers as store operators head toward the early portion of tax season.
The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) indicated that consumer filings in October rose 5 percent. According to data provided by Epiq Systems, total U.S. bankruptcy filings last month came in at 67,546, up from the 64,616 cases posted during October of last year.
Consumer bankruptcies also increased in October as the 64,175 filings were 4 percent more than the 61,575 consumer filings registered in October 2017.
On the business side, ABI pointed out that commercial Chapter 11 filings spiked 75 percent year-over-year. The 554 commercial Chapter 11 filings registered in October were up from the 316 cases completed during the same month a year ago.
The latest data showed commercial bankruptcy filings totaled 3,371 in October, an 11 percent increase from the 3,041 commercial filings in October of last year.
“Bankruptcy provides a shield for distressed consumers and businesses confronted with rising interest rates and global economic challenges,” ABI executive director Samuel Gerdano said.
“The recommendations of ABI’s Chapter 11 Commission and the ongoing efforts of the Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy aim to improve the system for struggling businesses and families seeking a fresh start through bankruptcy,” Gerdano continued.
Looking at the data on a sequential basis, officials determined that total filings for October increased 17 percent compared to the 57,596 total filings in September. Total noncommercial filings for October also represented a 17-percent rise from the September noncommercial filing total of 54,788.
ABI went on to mention commercial Chapter 11 filings in October constituted a 79-percent climb versus the 309 filings recorded in September. October’s commercial filing total represented a 20 percent increase from the September 2018 commercial filing total of 2,889.
The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) was 2.49 for the first 10 calendar months of the year, a slight increase over the 2.48 rate registered during the first nine months of the year.
The average daily filing total in October was 3,070, a slight decrease from the 3,077 total daily filings registered last October.
States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) through the first 10 months of the year included:
1. Alabama (5.74)
2. Tennessee (5.54)
3. Georgia (4.61)
4. Mississippi (4.34)
5. Illinois (3.77)
ABI has partnered with Epiq Systems, a leading 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.