Daily News: March 6, 2013

February Commercial Bankruptcy Filings Fall 29%


Total bankruptcy filings in the United States decreased 21% in February over last year, according to ABI and data provided by Epiq Systems. Bankruptcy filings totaled 82,285 in February 2013, down from the February 2012 total of 104,537. Consumer filings declined 21% to 78,611 from the February 2012 consumer filing total of 99,378.

Total commercial filings in February 2013 decreased to 3,674, representing a 29% decline from the 5,159 business filings recorded in February 2012. Total commercial chapter 11 filings also decreased 21%, to 609 filings in February from the 756 commercial chapter 11 filings recorded in February 2012.

“The post-recession trends of reduced consumer spending, low interest rates and tighter lending standards continue to be reflected in fewer bankruptcy filings,” said ABI executive director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As these trends persist, expect bankruptcy filings to continue to decline in 2013.”

While bankruptcies were down from a year ago, February’s bankruptcy filings trended upward from January. Total bankruptcy filings for the month of February represented a 5% increase over the 78,565 total filings registered in January 2013. The total noncommercial filings for February also represented a 5% increase from the January 2013 noncommercial filing total of 74,831. Although the February commercial filing total represented a 2% decline from the January 2013 commercial filing total of 3,734, February commercial chapter 11 filings represented a 27% increase when compared to the 481 filings the previous month.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in February increased to 3.11 (total filings per 1,000 per population), an increase of 2% from the 3.04 rate registered in January 2013. With fewer days to file in the month, the average total filings per day in February were 2,939, a 21% decrease from the 3,734 total daily filings in February 2012. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) in February 2013 were:

1. Tennessee (6.43)
2. Alabama (5.38)
3. Georgia (5.36)
4. Illinois (4.86)
5. Nevada (4.53)