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Can We Have Those Numbers Too?

posted by Bob Lawless

In my previous post about U.S. bankruptcy filing trends, I mentioned an AP wire story at the very end of the post. In discussing the number of U.S. bankruptcy filings for the first three months of 2007, the AP story states:

The American Bankruptcy Institute, which gets its information from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, reports a 46 percent filing increase from January to March. Last month boasted the highest filing rate in a single month since the Bankruptcy Prevention Act and Consumer Protection Act took affect in 2005.

Data from the Alexandria, Va., organization shows a steady increase in filings so far in 2007, with about 50,000 cases filed in January, 55,000 in February and more than 73,000 in March.

Really? As of this writing, these data are not on the web site for the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts web site, and I am not aware they have been publicly released. Indeed, the AOUSC has not released the data for the last quarter of 2006, yet alone the data for the quarter that just ended. Typically, the AOUSC releases these data two or three months after the quarter ends. Is the AP's story accurate? Did the American Bankruptcy Institute get its data from a private source, and the AP misattributed it? If not, would there be any reason for the AOUSC not to release basic filing statistics if the AOUSC can generate them this quickly?

Full disclosure: I am a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, which has over 11,000 members.

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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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