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Bankruptcy Update: How Are Consumers Weathering ‘Market Turbulence?’

The 447 commercial chapter 11 filings in June represented a 29% increase from the 347 filings in June 2021, according to new data provided by Epiq Bankruptcy. Overall commercial filings decreased 7% in June 2022, as the 1,864 filings were down from the 1,999 commercial filings registered in June 2021.

Small business filings, captured as subchapter V elections within Chapter 11, experienced an 8% decrease from 106 in June 2021 to 98 in June 2022. Total bankruptcy filings were 32,175 in June 2022, a 6 percent decline from the June 2021 total of 34,291. Noncommercial bankruptcy filings totaled 30,311 in June 2022, also registering a 6% decrease from the June 2021 noncommercial total of 32,292.

Total bankruptcy filings were 185,303 during the first six months of 2022, a 15% decrease from the 217,047 total filings during the same period a year ago. Total consumer filings also registered a 15 percent decrease, as the 175,112 filings during the first half of 2022 were down from the 204,679 filings during the first six months of 2021.

The 10,191 total commercial filings for the first half of 2022 represented a 17% decline from the commercial filing total of 12,278 for the first half of 2021. The 1,765 total commercial chapter 11 filings during the first six months of the year (Jan. 1-June 30) were an 18 percent decrease from the 2,155 total filings during the same period in 2021, according to data provided by Epiq Bankruptcy Analytics.

“The year-over-year filing counts continue to show declines, but month-over-month we see growth in Chapter 13 filings that when coupled with the growth in corporate Chapter 11s, tell a different story,” says Chris Kruse, senior vice president at Epiq. “Turbulence in the market including inflation concerns, labor shortages in key industries, and a downward shift in housing prices all point toward increases in the months ahead.”

“Tightening credit markets amid increasing interest rates, elevated prices due to inflation and global supply concerns are presenting financially distressed families and businesses with more economic dilemmas,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “Bankruptcy provides a shield to the mounting economic challenges being experienced by financially struggling consumers and companies.”

Total filings in the first half of 2022 point to a pace for the full year that could be the lowest since the 348,521 bankruptcies recorded by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in calendar year 1984. Will total, business, and consumer filings remain at this pace for the second half?

In partnership with Epiq, a key abiLIVE webinar on July 12 will feature experts looking at filing trends through June 30 and providing their thoughts on what could happen with bankruptcies moving forward. Speakers on the program include ABI President Hon. Kevin Carey (ret.) of Hogan Lovells (Philadelphia), Deirdre O’Connor of Epiq (New York), and ABI's Ed Flynn (Alexandria, Va.). Christopher Kruse of Epiq (San Francisco) will serve as moderator for the program. Click here for your complimentary registration.

ABI has partnered with Epiq Bankruptcy to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers, and members of the news media. Epiq Bankruptcy is the leading provider of data, technology, and services for companies operating in the business of bankruptcy. Its new Bankruptcy Analytics subscription service provides on-demand access to the industry’s most dynamic bankruptcy data, updated daily.

To read the full report, including charts and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years' writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News, the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is a jazz aesthete and loves to read. She can be reached at [email protected]
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