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Bankruptcy Filings On Pace for Six Year Low

Non-commercial filings plunge 18%

Dec. 5, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

Bankruptcy filings tumbled last month, with filings on pace to come in at the lowest level in six years. Consumer bankruptcies might fall below a million for the first time in six years.

A total of 74,021 new bankruptcies were filed during the month of November. The number included consumer and business filings.

Activity was down from the previous month, when 89,904 new cases were filed. October's filings were revised up from 89,875 originally reported.

During the same month last year, U.S. Bankruptcy Courts were hit with 87,090 new filings. The year-earlier figure was revised up from 86,946.

The statistics were reported by the American Bankruptcy Institute, which derived its data from Epiq Systems Inc.

"Tepid consumer spending, sustained low interest rates and the costs of bankruptcy continue to deter consumers and businesses from using the Bankruptcy Code," ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano said in the report. "We are on pace this year for the lowest total new bankruptcies since 2007."

Gerdano added that fewer filings are impacting funding for bankruptcy courts.

ABI said that U.S. per-capita filings during the 11 months ended Nov. 30 were 3.4 per 1,000 in population.

Tennessee maintained its stronghold on the No. 1 spot with a per-capita rate of 6.72 per 1,000 in population.

Georgia followed with a 5.85 per-capita rate, then Alabama's 5.75, Utah's 5.29 and Indiana's 5.16.

The non-commercial portion of last month's activity was 70,966.

Consumer filings tumbled from 86,336 filings in October. The month-earlier total was revised up from 86,331 bankruptcies originally reported.

The latest consumer number was also well below 82,838 in November 2012. ABI originally reported the year-earlier total at 82,747.

With just one month left to go in 2013, year-to-date non-commercial filings amounted to approximately 924,689. At the current pace of filings, consumer filings could fall shy of 1 million for all of this year.

The last time consumer filings fell below 1 million was in 2007, when the total was just 822,590.

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