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Bankruptcy Filings Turn Higher

February filings up 5% from January

March 5, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff


More consumers resorted to bankruptcy last month than during January, though bankruptcy filings were down from a year ago.

U.S. bankruptcy courts saw 82,285 total bankruptcy filings during February. Filings include liquidation filings under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, reorganization filings under chapter 11 and payment plans made under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Total filings worsened from January, when 78,565 bankruptcies were filed. Year-to-date filings as of the end of February totaled 160,850.

But bankruptcy activity retreated from 104,537 filings made in February 2012.

The statistics were reported by the American Bankruptcy Institute based on data provided by Epiq Systems Inc. ABI's 13,000 members are comprised of lenders, bankers and people in the legal field with an interest in bankruptcy litigation.

ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano predicted bankruptcy filings will continue to decline this year.

The U.S. per-capita rate last month was 3.11 bankruptcy filings per 1,000 in population, increasing from 3.04 in January.

The 6.43 per-capita rate in Tennessee was the worst of any state. No. 2 Alabama had a 5.38 per-capita rate, followed by Georgia's 5.36, Illinois' 4.86 and Nevada's 4.53.

Consumer bankruptcies accounted for 78,611 of February's filings, bringing the year-to-date total to 153,442.

Non-commercial filings worsened from the 74,831 bankruptcies reported for a month earlier. Consumer bankruptcies were better, however, than 99,378 a year earlier.

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