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Bankruptcy Filings Highest Since 2006

May 14, 2010

Contact: Karen Redmond, 202-502-2600

Bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2010, rose 27 percent when compared to bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2009, according to statistics released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. March 2010 bankruptcy filings totaled 1,531,997, compared to the 1,202,395 bankruptcy cases filed in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2009.

Related Items

Bankruptcy Filings per Capita by County and County Equivalent 12 Months Ended 3/31/2010
Total Bankruptcy Filings by Bankruptcy Chapter Years Ended March 31, 2006-2010
Chapter
Year 7 11 12 13
2010 1,100,032 15,251 605 415,966
2009 819,304 11,774 367 370,836
2008 560,015 6,971 343 334,551
2007 413,294 5,199 372 276,649
2006 1,432,074 6,497 366 355,756
Business and Non-Business Filings
Years Ended March 31, 2006-2010
Year Total Non-Business Business
2010 1,531,997 1,470,849 61,148
2009 1,202,395 1,153,318 49,077
2008 901,927 871,186 30,741
2007 695,575 673,615 21,960
2006 1,794,795 1,759,503 35,292

This is the highest number of total bankruptcy filings since the 12-month period ending March 31, 2006. A significant decline in bankruptcy filings occurred in October 2006, when many of the provisions of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) took effect.

Business and Non-Business Filings
The majority of bankruptcy filings involve predominantly non-business debts. Non-business filings (also called personal or consumer filings) for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2010, totaled 1,470,849, up 28 percent from the 1,153,318 bankruptcies filed in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2009.

Filings involving business debts also rose. They totaled 61,148, up 25 percent from the 49,077 business bankruptcies filed in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2009.

Filings by Chapter
For the 12-month period ending March 31, 2010, filings rose for all bankruptcy chapters.

  • Chapter 7 filings rose 34 percent to 1,100,032, compared to the 819,304 Chapter 7 filings in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2009.
  • Chapter 13 filings rose 12 percent to 415,966 from the 370,836 bankruptcies filed in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2009.
  • Chapter 11 filings rose 30 percent, to 15,251, compared to the 11,774, Chapter 11 filings in the same time period in 2009.
  • Chapter 12 filings rose 65 percent to 605, from the 367 filings for the 12-month period ending March 2009.

For more on bankruptcy and its chapters, visit the Judiciary's website or go to www.fjc.gov/federal/courts.nsf. Local bankruptcy court rules and historic data on bankruptcy filings are also available. Additional bankruptcy statistics, including bankruptcies by county, can be found on the Judiciary's PACER system.

Quarterly Filings*
PERIOD FILINGS PERIOD FILINGS PERIOD FILINGS PERIOD FILINGS
MAR. 31, 2010 388,148            
MAR. 31, 2009 330,394 JUN. 30, 2009 381,073 SEPT. 30, 2009 388,485 DEC. 31, 2009 372,203
MAR. 31, 2008 245,695 JUN. 30, 2008 276,428 SEPT. 30, 2008 292,218 DEC. 31, 2008 301,253
MAR. 31, 2007 193,641 JUN. 30, 2007 210,449 SEPT. 30, 2007 218,909 DEC. 31, 2007 226,413
MAR. 31, 2006 116,771 JUN. 30, 2006 155,833 SEPT. 30, 2006 171,146 DEC. 31, 2006 177,599
MAR. 31, 2005 401,149 JUN. 30, 2005 467,333 SEPT. 30, 2005 542,002 DEC. 31, 2005 667,431
MAR. 31, 2004 407,572 JUN. 30, 2004 421,110 SEPT. 30, 2004 396,438 DEC. 31, 2004 371,668
MAR. 31, 2003 412,968 JUN. 30, 2003 440,257 SEPT. 30, 2003 412,989 DEC. 31, 2003 393,348
MAR. 31, 2002 379,012 JUN. 30, 2002 400,686 SEPT. 30, 2002 401,306 DEC. 31, 2002 395,129
MAR. 31, 2001 366,841 JUN. 30, 2001 400,394 SEPT. 30, 2001 359,518 DEC. 31, 2001 364,921
MAR. 31, 2000 312,335 JUN. 30, 2000 321,729 SEPT. 30, 2000 308,718 DEC. 31, 2000 310,169
MAR. 31, 1999 330,784 JUN. 30, 1999 345,956 SEPT. 30, 1999 323,550 DEC. 31, 1999 318,634
MAR. 31, 1998 354,118 JUN. 30, 1998 373,460 SEPT. 30, 1998 361,205 DEC. 31, 1998 353,108
MAR. 31, 1997 335,073 JUN. 30, 1997 367,168 SEPT. 30, 1997 353,515 DEC. 31, 1997 347,685
MAR. 31, 1996 266,149 JUN. 30, 1996 297,162 SEPT. 30, 1996 303,309 DEC. 31, 1996 311,131
MAR. 31, 1995 212,626 JUN. 30, 1995 235,302 SEPT. 30, 1995 233,593 DEC. 31, 1995 244,494

* Because of ongoing corrections to the bankruptcy database, the quarterly data may not total to the most recent annual figures. In addition, beginning with the quarter ending June 30, 2009, the Administrative Office implemented a new system for reporting bankruptcy data from the courts. The new system counts intradistrict transfers differently, which may lead to small revisions in filings counts in previous quarters.