Number of Bankruptcy Cases Drop

The total number of bankruptcy cases filed in the United States fell 14 percent from a year ago, according to a recent press release from Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings in January 2015 totaled 59,037 compared to 68,271 cases filed in January 2104. The number of consumer filings declined 13 percent and commercial filings are down 16 percent. Total commercial Chapter 11 filings, however, are up 33 percent. January 2015’s commercial Chapter 11 filings increased to 518 from January 2014’s 391 filings.

American Bankruptcy Institute Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano offered this as a reason for the decline, “High costs to file and sustained low interest rates continue to reduce the number of consumers and businesses seeking the fresh financial start of bankruptcy.” According to Gerdano. “The year-over-year filing totals have now declined for 50 consecutive months.”

States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) in January 2015 were:

  1. Tennessee (5.25)
  2. Alabama (4.61)
  3. Georgia (4.57)
  4. Illinois (3.89)
  5. Mississippi (3.33)

During 2014, the total number of bankruptcy cases filed was 910,090, a decline of almost 12 percent from calendar year 2013. The number of bankruptcy filings have steadily decreased since 2010, when the total number was 1,561,008. One analyst predicts further decreases in the number of bankruptcy filings for 2015, projecting around 800,000 total filings, another 12 percent decline.