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Bankruptcy Filings at All-Time High

Administrative Office of U.S. Courts issues quarterly report

December 3, 2002

By MortgageDaily.com staff

Bankruptcy figures broke records -- and backs -- in the federal courts during fiscal year 2002, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts' quarterly report.

The courts' fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, saw more bankruptcies than at any other time in history. They totaled 1,547,669, up 7.7% from the 1,437,354 of fiscal year 2001.

No new bankruptcy judgeships have been added since 1992, but the caseload has soared 59% in the last decade, the report said. The judiciary has requested new bankruptcy judgeships and budget relief, but the matter will not be addressed until Congress returns in January.

Non-business or personal bankruptcies usually compose most filings, and they made up about 97% during fiscal year 2002. These type of filings were up 7.8% from the same time last year.

Business filings totaled 39,091, up 1.6% from the last fiscal year.

All chapter filings increased except chapter 12s.

Chapter 7, which almost totally wipes out personal debt, rose 6.9%. Chapter 11, which allows busin