Daily News: January 8, 2018

December Chapter 11 Filings Up Sharply; Full Year Up 6%

The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), citing data provided by Epiq Systems, reported total commercial Chapter 11 filings during calendar year 2017 were 5,744, a 6% increase from the 5,447 filings in 2016.

There were 38,062 commercial filings during calendar year 2017, a 0.25% increase over the 37,968 commercial filings the previous year. Total bankruptcy filings decreased slightly to 766,698 nationwide for calendar year 2017, 1% less than the 772,098 total filings during 2016. The 728,386 total noncommercial filings during calendar year 2017 also slipped 1% from the noncommercial filing total of 733,902 during calendar year 2016.

“Total filings fell for an eighth consecutive year as high filing costs continue to weigh on struggling businesses and families,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As the recommendations of ABI’s Chapter 11 Commission aim to remove barriers to filing for distressed businesses, we look forward to the final report later this year by ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy to improve the bankruptcy system for financially strained consumers.”

Monthly commercial Chapter 11 filings were up sharply year-over-year. The 699 commercial Chapter 11 filings in December 2017 were a 107% increase over the 337 filings in December 2016. Total commercial filings also rose, as the 3,025 filings in December 2017 represented a 2% increase from the 2,967 total commercial filings during the same period in 2016.

Conversely, the 52,522 total bankruptcy filings for the month of December represented a 7% decrease compared to the 56,435 filings in December 2016. The 49,497 total noncommercial filings for December also represented a 7% decrease from the December 2016 noncommercial filing total of 53,468. Average total filings per day in December 2017 were 2,626, a 2% decrease from the 2,687 total daily filings in December 2016.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for calendar year 2017 decreased slightly to 2.47 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from the 2.48 rate during calendar year 2016.

States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through 2017 were:

1. Alabama (5.66)
2. Tennessee (5.51)
3. Georgia (4.66)
4. Mississippi (4.12)
5. Utah (3.96)