ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/7/13)--Total U.S. bankruptcy filings decreased 21% in February from February 2012, according to data provided by Epiq Systems Inc., in a report issued by the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).
"The post-recession trends of reduced consumer spending, low interest rates and tighter lending standards continue to be reflected in fewer bankruptcy filings," said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. "As these trends persist, expect bankruptcy filings to continue to decline in 2013."
Bankruptcy filings totaled 82,285, down from the February 2012 total of 104,537. Consumer filings declined 21% to 78,611 from February 2012's total of 99,378.
During fourth quarter, slightly more than 44,000 credit union members filed for bankruptcy, a 10.4% decrease from the total reported in the third quarter 2012, the National Credit Union Administration reported this month. Loan charge-offs due to bankruptcy and credit unions' net charge-off ratio both held steady from quarter-to-quarter, totaling 21.5% and 0.73%, respectively. The delinquency ratio reported by credit unions fell by two basis points to 1.16% (News Now March 4).
Total commercial filings decreased to 3,674--a 29% decline from the 5,159 business filings recorded a year earlier, ABI said. Total commercial Chapter 11 filings also dropped 21%, to 609 filings from the 756 commercial Chapter 11 filings recorded in February 2012.
While bankruptcies were down from a year ago, bankruptcy filings trended upward from January. Total bankruptcy filings were a 5% increase over the 78,565 total filings registered in January. Total noncommercial filings also saw a 5% rise from January's noncommercial filing total of 74,831.
Although the February commercial filing total was a 2% decline from the January's total of 3,734, February commercial chapter 11 filings saw a 27% increase, compared with the 481 filings the previous month.
The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in February increased to 3.11 filings per 1,000 per population, a 2% increase from the 3.04 rate registered in January. With fewer days to file in the month, February's average total filings per day were 2,939--a 21% decrease from the 3,734 total daily filings in February 2012.
States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) in February were:
4. Illinois--4.86; and