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Growth in Bankruptcy Filings Slows In Calendar Year 2010

February 15, 2011

Contact: Karen Redmond, 202-502-2600

Bankruptcy filings in the federal courts rose 8 percent in calendar year 2010, according to data released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.  Total filings remain at a five-year high.

Related Items

Total Bankruptcy Filings by Bankruptcy Chapter
Calendar Years, Period Ending
December 31, 2006-2010

Chapter
Year 7 11 12 13
2010
1,139,601
13,713
723
438,913
2009
1,050,832
15,189
 544 406,962
 2008 744,364 
10,160 
345
362,705
2007 519,364 6,353 376 324,771
2006 360,890 5,163 348 251,179

Business and Non-business Filings
CY 2006-2010

FY Business Non-Business TOTAL
2010
56,282
1,536,799
1,593,081
2009
60,837
1,412,838
1,473,675
2008
43,533
1,074,108
1,117,641
2007 28,322 822,590 850,912
2006 19,695 597,965 617,660

The number of bankruptcies filed in the twelve-month period ending December 31, 2010, totaled 1,593,081, up from 1,473,675 bankruptcies filed in CY 2009.

Filings have grown steadily since CY 2006, when bankruptcy filings totaled 617,660, in the first full 12-month period after the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) took effect. An historic high in the number of bankruptcy filings was seen in CY 2005, when over 2 million bankruptcies were filed in anticipation of BAPCPA.

Statistics released today include business and non-business filings for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2010 (Table F-2, 12-month); a comparison of December 2009 and 2010 filings (Table F); 4th quarter filings (Table F-2, 3-month); monthly filings for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2010 (Table F-2, Year-Month); and filings per capita.

Business and Non-Business Filings

The majority of bankruptcy filings involve non-business debts. In CY 2010, they totaled 1,536,799, up 9 percent from the 1,412,838 non-business bankruptcy filings in CY 2009.

Business filings totaled 56,282, down 7 percent from the 60,837 business filings in CY 2009.

First Quarter of FY 2011

The last three months of CY 2010 were the first quarter of the Judiciary's 2011 fiscal year. The number of bankruptcies filed during the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 (October 1-December 31, 2010) was 370,080, down 1 percent from the 372,203 filings in the first quarter of fiscal year 2010.

Filings by Chapter

In CY 2010, filings rose under Chapters 7, 11, 12 and 13 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.

  • Chapter 7 filings totaled 1,139,601, up 8 percent from the 1,050,832 Chapter 7 filings reported in CY 2009.
  • Chapter 11 filings fell 10 percent to 13,713 from the 15,189 filings in CY 2009.
  • Chapter 13 filings rose 8 percent to 438,913 from the 406,962 filings in CY 2009.
  • Chapter 12 filings totaled 723, up 33 percent from the 544 Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings in CY 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 Bankruptcy Filings*

PERIOD FILINGS PERIOD FILINGS PERIOD FILINGS PERIOD FILINGS
MAR. 31, 2010 388,148 JUN. 30, 2010 422,061 SEPT. 30, 2010 412,380 DEC. 31, 2010 370,080
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..