U.S. Courts Release Final 2007 Bankruptcy Numbers
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Total bankruptcy filings in the United States increased 37.8 percent last year over calendar year 2006, according to data released today from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
Bankruptcy filings totaled 850,912 for the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, a significant increase over the previous year's total of 617,660.
While the total filings for calendar-year 2006 reflected a significant drop due to the implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, the 2007 filings mark an increase across all chapters of the Bankruptcy Code for both consumer and business filings from the previous year.
"The latest figures ratify trends that began last year, depicting households under growing stress from heavy consumer debts, now in homes they can't afford and can't sell," said Samuel Gerdano. American Bankruptcy Institute's executive director.
Business bankruptcies recorded the sharpest percentage increase as the 28,322 business filings during calendar-year 2007 represented a 43.8-percent climb in filings from the record low of 19,695 from 2006.
While the 12-month total for 2007 was still lower than any year prior to 2006, the 2007 total was trending toward the 35,293 filings averaged annually for the past decade (1998-2007), according to the institute.
Meanwhile, consumer filings rebounded to 822,590 during the 2007 calendar-year, representing a 37.6-percent increase over the 597,965 recorded during the same period in 2006.
The 500,613 consumer Chapter 7 filings during the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, comprised 60.9 percent of the total consumer filings for 2007.
The Chapter 7 total for 2007 represented a 43.4-percent jump over the 349,012 consumer Chapter 7 filings during 2006.
The 321,359 consumers who filed for Chapter 13 during the 12-month period comprised 39.1 percent of the consumer filing overall. The Chapter 13 total for last year represents a 29.4-percent increase over the 248,430 consumer Chapter 13 filings during 2006.
The 226,413 total bankruptcies recorded during the fourth quarter of 2007 represent a 27.5-percent climb from the 177,599 filings during the same period in 2006.
Moreover, the fourth-quarter filing total was the highest of any previous quarter for 2007 and represented a 3.4-percent increase over the third quarter-total of 218,909.
Additionally, the 218,428 consumer filings in the fourth quarter of 2007 represent a 27-percent jump in comparison to the 172,013 consumer filings for the same quarter of 2006.
Meanwhile, the consumer filing total for the fourth quarter also represented a 3.2-percent increase from the previous total of 211,742 filings from the third quarter of 2006.
Business filings, which totaled 7,985 for the fourth calendar quarter of 2007, represented a 43-percent incline from the 5,586 filed in the same three-month period in 2006.
States with the highest per-capita filing rate for the 12-month period:
Districts with the highest percentage increase in total filings for the 12-month period, compared to the identical period in 2006:
District of Nevada: 98.5 percent
Eastern District of California: 93.6 percent
Central District of California: 91.2 percent
Southern District of California: 82.9 percent
District of Maine: 74.2 percent
Districts with the lowest percentage increase in total filings for the 12-month period, compared to the identical period in 2006:
District of the Virgin Islands: 0.0 percent
District of the Northern Mariana Islands: 0.0 percent
District of Montana: 1.8 percent
Western District of North Carolina: 8.9 percent
Middle District of North Carolina: 11.3 percent