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Bankruptcy Filings Fall 13% in 2013

posted by Bob Lawless

2013 Projected Filings from DecemberThe year-end bankruptcy data from Epiq Systems just became available. Total bankruptcy filings in 2013 were 1,032,326, a 13% decline from the previous year. (Note the precise total will be subject to minor final adjustments.)

On a monthly basis, the daily filing rate in December was down 16.3% on a year-over-year basis. The monthly decline continues a long-term trend of falling bankruptcy filing rates. Filings are currently running around 3.3 per 1,000 persons. Last year at this time, it was 3.8 per 1,000 persons as compared to a post-2005 high of 5.0 bankruptcy filings per 1,000 persons, which occurred in September 2010.

Once December consumer credit statistics and recent economic indicators become available, I will try to make a forecast of where bankruptcy filings might be heading. This year, I predicted between 1,019,000 and 1,100,000, although that was in a May posting with four months of data available so I was cheating a little. Still, I take it as a predication.

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Predictions for '14 if congress fails to extend exemption for primary residence mortgage forgiveness of debt income?

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless (rlawless@illinois.edu) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.

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