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Consumer Bankruptcies Rise

116,459 non-commercial filings during March

April 4, 2012

By MortgageDaily.com staff


The bad news is that consumer bankruptcies worsened on a month-over-month basis. But the good news is that bankruptcies have improved from a year earlier and are expected to decline for the full year.

March saw 116,459 non-commercial bankruptcy filings, the American Bankruptcy Institute reported Wednesday.

ABI gathers its statistics from data provided by Epiq Systems Inc. ABI's more than 13,000 members include bankruptcy professionals in the legal community as well as bankers, lenders and professors.

Bankruptcy filings jumped from February, when 99,252 non-commercial bankruptcies were filed.

But activity tumbled from March 2011, when the total was 139,029, according to the Alexandria, Va., trade group.

"With the economic recovery weighed down by the distressed housing market and high unemployment, consumers and business are continuing to cut their debt burdens," ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano said in the report. "We expect that the 2012 bankruptcy totals will be less than last year as companies and families remain vigilant in cutting costs and shoring up their balance sheets."

During the first three months of 2012, non-commercial bankruptcy filings totaled 298,750.

First-quarter per-capita filings, both commercial and non-commercial, were 4.06 per 1,000 consumers. The per-capita rate was highest in Tennessee at 7.19, followed by Nevada's 7.00 rate and 6.65 in Georgia.

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