Bankruptcy Filings, Especially Commercial, Down for 2014

Bankruptcy filings continued to fall as 2014 came to a close. The total number for the year reached 910,090 nationwide, or 12% fewer than the prior year’s total, according to Epiq Systems, Inc. Of that total, commercial filings equaled 34,455, a 21% decline year-on-year; and noncommercial, 875,635, down 11% compared with 2013.

“Annual total filings fell for the fifth consecutive year and dipped under one million for the first time since 2007,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Sustained low interest rates and high costs to file continue to turn consumers and businesses away from the bankruptcy code for a financial fresh start.”
December 2014 showed a 5% decrease in filings to 63,090 compared with December 2013. Of that number, 2,465, a 15% drop, represented commercial entities, and 60,625, a 5% decrease, noncommercial. Commercial Chapter 11 filings registered a 12% drop to 349 last month, and average total filings per day in December were 2,035, a 5% decrease from December 2013.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for calendar year 2014 decreased to 2.93 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 3.33 rate during calendar year 2013. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through 2014 were: Tennessee (6.10), Alabama (5.28), Georgia (5.24), Utah (4.85) and Illinois (4.66).

- Diana Mota, NACM associate editor

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