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Monthly Filings, Jan. 2006 - Mar. 2008

posted by Bob Lawless

Monthlyfilingschartjan06tomar08 A reader asked about the total U.S. bankruptcy filings for a month earlier this year. Looking around, I found I had not updated those figures in a while, and I thought others also might have a use for those figures. Thus, presented without analysis and for everyone's convenience is this table with those figures, running from January 2006 to March 2008. The figures are for total U.S. bankruptcy filings. Clicking on the table should bring up a larger, more legible version.

The data are from Automated Access to Court Electronic Records (AACER). Over the past two days, there  have been news stories about the latest data from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts (AO). The AO's  data are three and a half months old, from the last quarter of 2007. AACER's data are much more current.


Wow..... March was crazy and we had several filings on the 2nd of April which should have been filed in March. Foreclosures happened on April 1, 2008 here in Texas.

I posted this on your other blog sub before this one.

Southern District of Texas CC Div. (our firm only) January 08 was a big month for us. February... not so much about 1/2 of January’s filings. March was like January almost the same number of filings about 25 (7 & 13s). April looks to be as light as February.

I just talked to a reporter doing a story on Mortgage Foreclosures and it looks like May might be larger in that there are a large number of foreclosures up in May. It’s hard to tell because the stimulus checks are coming in that month which could hold off foreclosures or provide enough income for debtors to file chapter 13. Its hard to tell what May will bring. There were no April showers as mentioned above. Another factor is advertising. Our particular TV ads show in cycles but other BK firms have ads out as well. I learned from a very knowledgeable Bankruptcy Attorney long ago that when it comes to advertising even if it’s not your firm, advertising always has the effect of creating more filings for everyone. I guess because there are relatively few of our kind of firms as opposed to say PI firms and the like.

Those tax refunds are comin' in. . . and they are paying for attorneys and filing fees down at the Bankruptcy Clerk's Office.

We'll see how that new rebate thing works on the rest of the economy, but tax refunds have a pretty good record as a bankruptcy stimulus package.

The filings may not have gone down much after March/April, but historically they sure have had a bump UP from December/January to February/March.

Aside from their extreme tardiness, the odd thing about the AOUSC data is that they differ substantially from AACER's. You reported (for example, at http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/2008/02/bankruptcies-co.html ) that AACER recorded 826,665 bankruptcy filings in 2007, while the AOUSC figure released Tuesday was 850,912. While a 2.9% variance isn't a huge deal, it's a bit disconcerting. Any sense why the two sets of figures differ so substantially?

Jason, that is a good question. The AACER data tend to run slightly under the AO data. I have pored over the AACER data and find them highly reliable. AACER is capturing new filings each day. I can speculate as to some reasons for the difference in that the AO may count events as "filings" that AACER does not (e.g., reopenings, transfers). I'll invite the AACER people to elaborate.

hi, i was just wondering if there is any way that i could obtain the similar information but restricted only to the queens borough of New York. thank you.

In response to Ximena Martinez -- Unfortunately, bankruptcy filing data are not readily available at that sort of detail.

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