Daily News: January 7, 2015

Commercial Bankruptcy Filings Down 22%

Total commercial filings during calendar year 2014 were 34,455, a 22% drop from the 44,083 filings during the same period in 2013, according to data provided by Epiq Systems.

“Annual total filings fell for the fifth consecutive year and dipped under 1 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.”

To provide distressed companies better access to the rehabilitative powers of the Bankruptcy Code, the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 released its Final Report in December containing recommendations for modernizing Chapter 11 business reorganizations. The Commission’s Final Report recommends improvements to the Code to account for today’s evolving corporate climate and to encourage debtors to file before they have to liquidate.

Total commercial filings for December 2014 were 2,465, representing a 15% decrease from the 2,909 filings during the same period in 2013. Commercial Chapter 11 filings registered a 12% drop as the 397 Chapter 11 filings in December 2013 fell to 349 in December 2014.

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

1. Tennessee (6.10)
2. Alabama (5.28)
3. Georgia (5.24)
4. Utah (4.85)
5. Illinois (4.66)

ABI has partnered with Epiq Systems in order to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers and members of the news media.