The American Bankruptcy Institute said total bankruptcy filings were 801,783 nationwide during the first nine months of 2013 (Jan. 1-Sept. 30), a 13% decrease from the 921,927 total filings recorded during the same period a year ago, according to data provided by Epiq Systems.
The 767,445 total noncommercial filings for the first three quarters of 2013 represented a 13% drop from the noncommercial filing total of 877,123 during the first three quarters of 2012.
Total commercial filings during the first nine months of the year were 34,338, a 23% decrease from the 44,804 filings during the same period in 2012. Chapter 11 filings also fell during the first nine months of 2013; the 5,171 filings in the first nine months of 2013 represented a 14% decrease from the 5,999 chapter 11 filings during the first nine months of 2012.
“Sustained low interest rates and sluggish consumer spending since the financial crisis have suppressed bankruptcy filings to 2008 levels,” said ABI executive director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Some individuals are too broke to afford the cost to file for bankruptcy.”
The 80,645 total bankruptcy filings for the month of September represented an 8% decrease compared to the 87,599 filings in September 2012. The 77,269 total noncommercial filings for September also represented an 8% drop from the September 2012 noncommercial filing total of 83,543. Total commercial filings for September 2013 were 3,376, a 17% decrease from the 4,056 filings recorded during the same period in 2012. Chapter 11 filings increased, however, as the 579 chapter 11 filings reported in September 2013 were 11% higher than the 525 filings recorded in September 2012.
The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first nine calendar months of 2013 (Jan. 1-Sept. 30) decreased slightly to 3.45 (total filings per 1,000 population) from the 3.49 rate for the first eight months of the year. The average daily filing total in September 2013 was 2,688, an 8% decrease from the 2,920 total daily filings registered in September 2012.
States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) through the first nine months of 2013 were:
1. Tennessee (6.74)
2. Georgia (5.90)
3. Alabama (5.80)
4. Utah (5.34)
5. Indiana (5.24)