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2013 Bankruptcies On Pace for Post-Crisis Low

Consumer filings up 5% between June and July

Aug. 5, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

Despite an uptick in the number of bankruptcy filings last month, this year is on pace to see fewer filings than at any point since the financial crisis erupted.

New filings in U.S. bankruptcy courts, including both commercial and consumer activity, totaled 87,684 during July, data released Monday indicate.

That was more than in the previous month, when a revised 83,603 new bankruptcy filings were made by consumers and businesses.

But bankruptcies sank from a year earlier, when 97,287 bankruptcy filings were made.

The statistics were reported by the American Bankruptcy Institute based on data provided by Epiq Systems Inc. ABI says it is a trade group with more than 13,000 members that include bankers, lenders and other people in the legal and education communities who specialize in bankruptcies.

Noncommercial filings accounted for 84,103 of July's total bankruptcy filings.

As with overall bankruptcy filings, activity worsened from the previous month's revised 80,135 filings.

But consumer bankruptcies have slowed considerably from the revised 92,606 in the same month last year.

In the first seven months of 2013, consumers have filed approximately 605,022 new bankruptcies.

"Year-over-year bankruptcy figures continue to drop as consumers and businesses shore up their balance sheets amid sustained low interest rates," ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano stated in the report. "We remain on pace this year for perhaps the lowest total new bankruptcies since before the financial crisis in 2008."

The per-capita bankruptcy filing rate for the period beginning Jan. 1 and ending on July 31 worked out to 3.49 filings per 1,000 in population. The rate improved from one-in-3.51 during the first six months of 2013.

Tennessee's 6.73 per-capita rate was the highest of any state.

With a 5.79 per-capita rate in Georgia and a 5.72 per-capita rate in Alabama -- there was no change in the standing of the three worst states.

Utah followed with a per-capita rate of 5.39, while the rate was 5.33 in Illinois.

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