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New Bankruptcy Filings Fall 1.1 Percent

Bankruptcy filings fell by 1.1 percent for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2020, compared with the year ending March 31, 2019. According to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the March 2020 annual bankruptcy filings totaled 764,282, compared with 772,646 cases in the previous year.

Bankruptcies filed in just the month of March 2020 were mixed, as nonbusiness filings (which includes consumer filings) fell sharply, while new business bankruptcies increased. According to Table F-2 by Month, nonbusiness filings for chapters 7, 11, and 13 fell by a total of 15 percent, compared with the same month in 2019, while business Chapter 11 filings rose 17 percent during the same time period.

The most recent quarter, which ran from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2020, ended just as new unemployment claims began spiking to historic levels. The Great Recession triggered a surge in new bankruptcies over time, reaching a peak of nearly 1.6 million new filings in the year ending September 2010. 

Additional statistics released today include:

Business and Non-Business Filings,
Years Ending
March 31, 2016-2020
Year Business Non-Business Total
2020 23,114 741,168 764,282
2019 22,157 750,489 772,646
2018 23,106 756,722 779,828
2017 23,591 770,901 794,492
2016 24,797 808,718 833,515
Total Bankruptcy Filings By Chapter,
Years Ending
March 31, 2016-2020
Year Chapter
  7 11 12 13
2020 479,211 6,938 627 277,353
2019 477,106 6,891 509 288,039
2018 480,933 7,735 499 290,566
2017 488,417 7,105 457 298,348
2016 523,394 7,380 440 302,193

For more on bankruptcy and its chapters, view the following resources:

Related Topics: Bankruptcy Filings