While consumer bankruptcy figures get the most news coverage, from a percentage perspective, they don't hold a candle to the meteoric increase that struck business filings between 2005 and 2009.
example, a total of 1,402,816 bankruptcy petitions were filed in the
federal courts in 2009. Of those, 1,344,095 were filings that involved
predominantly non-business debts, or consumer filings. This marked a
notable 34% increase over the same figure in 2008.
back to fiscal year 2005, the last full year before the Bankruptcy Abuse
Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) took effect. In that
year, a record 1,782,643 bankruptcy petitions were filed, nearly all of
which (1,748,421) were consumer filings. Indeed, monthly consumer
filings have been steadily increasing ever since 2005 and eagerly
recovering to pre-BAPCPA numbers, but for all the doom and gloom
surrounding consumer bankruptcies in the recession, filings still
remained 23% below 2005 levels in fiscal year 2009.
On the other
hand, business filings in fiscal year 2009 have already gone above and
beyond their 2005 numbers: business filings in 2005 were at 34,222,
whereas in 2009, the number hit 58,721-a 52% increase over the same
figure in 2008 and 72% higher than business filings at pre-BAPCPA levels.
While consumer filings are slowly creeping back to their pre-BAPCPA
numbers, business filings have already mightily surpassed that
During 2009, Chapter 11 filings experienced the biggest
surge, growing 69% over 2008 levels. Chapter 7 liquidation filings
comprised the largest percentage of business filings and also increased
51%. Additionally, through 2009, monthly business filings reached
roughly twice what they were before the implementation of BAPCPA.
Jacob Barron, NACM staff writer