900,000 Bankruptcy Filings This Year, Maybe
Bankruptcy filings have continued to decline in the first part of 2014. This decline is part of a longer-term trend as the graph shows. (Clicking on the graph will bring up a larger version in a pop-up box.) As always, thank you to Epiq Systems for providing the data.
The May 2014 daily bankruptcy filing rate was 4,079, which was a 7.0% decline on a year-over-year basis. There have been just over 405,500 in the first five months of 2014. For the past three years, filings for the first January - May have been approximately 44.5% of the yearly total. Extrapolating, we therefore can expect just over 900,000 bankruptcies for the entire calendar year.
The annual filing rate is now 3.08 bankruptcies per 1,000 persons. The last time bankruptcy filings were this low was 1990. (if we ignore the anomalous statistical gyrations around the 2005 bankruptcy law).
With these latest numbers, the year-over-year bankruptcy filing rate has declined for forty-three straight months. The only indication this decline might stop is that the May 2014 year-over-year decline of 7.0% was the smallest decline since April 2011 when the decline was also 7.0%.