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Bankruptcy Filings Continue to Dip Substantially

posted by Bob Lawless

2011 Filings Per DayEpiq Systems has sent their latest bankruptcy filing statistics, and the numbers continue to show a dramatic drop in the bankruptcy filing rate. There were just over 110,000 bankruptcy filings in September which translates to 5,239 bankruptcies per day. Although that rate is about the same as it was in August, it is a 17.9% year-over-year drop from 2010.

Last year, there were 1.56 million bankruptcy filings. This year, we are on a pace to be just above or below 1.40 million bankruptcy filings. Specifically, there will be

  • 1,417,000 filings if bankruptcy filings continue for the rest of the year at the same daily rate (5,644 per day) as they have averaged for the first nine months of 2011
  • 1,392,000 filings if bankruptcy filings continue for the same daily rate (5,293 per day) as they have averaged for September 2011
  • 1,416,000 filings if bankruptcy filings for the remaining three months of 2011 constitute the same proportion of total filings as the average for the last three months of 2009 and 2010 constituted for total filings those years (about 24.3%)



But based on ever eroding asset levels, this sustained level of bankruptcies is actually an increase.

I would love to submit an article about what continues to destroy main street's wealth.

People have been finding financing again this year, so they have been kicking the can down the road and avoiding bankruptcy. Wait for this financing to dry up, which it will soon. Mortgage assistance for the unemployed has already gone bye-bye. Those numbers are going back up.

Just for fun, I went back over the last two years of bankruptcy data on Credit Slips and compared it to to the Google Analytics data on my website. I haven't done any in depth analysis, but it looks like the traffic swings as much as 10%-15% in either direction based on the filing rate for any given month.

In Oklahoma, we've noticed a decrease recently in inquiries on our website and by telephone related to bankruptcy.

I do agree that once some the more lax lending that has been recently occurring gets shut down again, we'll see another surge in filings.

We can clearly see how businesses are slowly getting back on their feet. There's good news after all.

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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 ([email protected]) 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.