Daily News: December 6, 2019

November Chapter 11 Filings Down 32% Y/Y


The American Bankruptcy Institutes reported commercial Chapter 11 filings decreased 32% in November 2019 over November of last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems.

The 450 commercial Chapter 11 filings registered in November 2019 dropped from November 2018’s commercial Chapter 11 filing total of 662. Commercial bankruptcy filings totaled 2,984 in November 2019, an 8% decrease from the 3,247 commercial filings in November 2018. Total U.S. bankruptcies in November 2019 also registered a decrease, as the 56,041 filings fell 5% from the November 2018 total of 58,923.

Consumer bankruptcies decreased as well in November 2019, as the 53,057 filings were a 5% drop from the 55,676 consumer filings registered in November 2018.

“High filing costs impede struggling consumers and businesses from accessing the financial relief of bankruptcy,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “The Small Business Reorganization Act will soon provide a better path for small businesses to restructure, and the recommendations of ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy aim to modernize the Bankruptcy Code to provide better access to struggling households.”

The “Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019” signed into law on Aug. 23 by President Donald Trump, becomes effective February 19, 2020. SBRA adds a new subchapter V to Chapter 11, providing a better path for small businesses to successfully restructure, reduce liquidations, save jobs and increase recoveries to creditors. ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy issued its Final Report of recommendations earlier this year to improve access to the consumer bankruptcy system. Click here to view the report.

Commercial Chapter 11 filings in November 2019 represented a 15% decrease from the 527 filings recorded in October 2019. November’s commercial filing total represented a 16% decrease from the October 2019 commercial filing total of 3,551. Total filings for November decreased 17% compared to the 67,828 total filings in October 2019. Total noncommercial filings for November also represented a 17% decrease from the October 2019 noncommercial filing total of 64,277.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) was 2.50 for the first 11 calendar months of 2019 (January 1 to November 30), a slight increase over the 2.49 rate registered during the first 10 months of the year. The average daily filing total in November 2019 was 2,950, a slight increase from the 2,946 total daily filings registered in November 2018. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) through the first 11 months of 2019 were:

1. Alabama (5.69)
2. Tennessee (5.39)
3. Georgia (4.43)
4. Mississippi (4.24)
5. Illinois (3.75)