On both a year-over-year and a month-to-month basis, commercial bankruptcies notched notably lower figures in May. Total business filings last month decreased to 3,190, representing a 21% decline from the 4,055 business filings recorded in May 2013, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), who collects bankruptcy filing data with Epiq Systems, Inc.
May's commercial filing total also represented a 6% decrease from the April 2014 commercial filing total of 3,387. Commercial Chapter 11 filings took an even steeper dive as they experienced a 21% decrease in May 2014 to 429 filings, down from 540 filings in May 2013 and 38% lower when compared to the 687 filings registered in April 2014. "Bankruptcy filings continue to nose dive in the current environment of sustained low interest rates for business borrowers and lower than expected consumer spending," said ABI Executive Director Samuel Gerdano. "As these conditions persist, bankruptcy filings will continue to decrease."
Total filings, meaning consumer and commercial cases, decreased 11% in May 2014 over May of last year, from 96,495 to 85,664. They also declined by 3% from April 2014 to last month as well.
On a per capita basis, meaning total filings per 1,000 per population, the bankruptcy filing rate actually managed to register an increase to 3.13, which is higher than the 3.09 rate registered in the first four months of 2014. Average total filings per day in May were 2,763, an 11% decrease from the 3,113 total daily filings in May 2013. States with the highest per capita filing rates in May 2014 were Tennessee (6.30), Alabama (5.26), Georgia (5.25), Illinois (5.03) and Utah (4.96).
- Jacob Barron, CICP, NACM staff writer