Overall December 2021 New Bankruptcy Filings Continue Decline
However, sharp uptick in commercial Chapter 11 new filings
NEW YORK – JANUARY 4, 2022 – Epiq, a global technology-enabled services leader to the legal services industry and corporations, released its December 2021 bankruptcy filing statistics from its Epiq Bankruptcy AACER Platform. Overall, December new filings were 27,957 across all chapters, down 4.7% from November 2021 which had 29,328 new filings. Total commercial filings across all chapters were 1,650, up 4.8% over November 2021, which had 1,575 new filings.
Total new filings across all chapters for the full year 2021 were 401,398, down 24.2% over 2020, which had a total of 529,222. 2021 new filing metrics include a full year of impact from the COVID-19 global pandemic, while 2020 new filing metrics include pre-pandemic filing activity.
Chapter 7 individual bankruptcies had 16,214 new filings in December, down 6.8% over November 2021, which had 17,395 new filings. For the full year, new Chapter 7 individual bankruptcy filings were 265,948, down 24.7% over the full year 2020, which had 352,978 new filings. In 2021, the top five states with new Chapter 7 filings were California (30,917), Florida (21,329), Ohio (15,956), Illinois (13,868), and Michigan (12,337).
Chapter 13 individual bankruptcies had 10,024 new filings, down 2.7% over November 2021, which had 10,306. This is the second month where new Chapter 13 filings declined after the prior 6 months of incremental increases month-over-month. For the full year, Chapter 13 filings were 112,197, down 21.4% over 2020 which had a total of 142,659 new filings. In 2021, the U.S. Southeast region continued to lead new Chapter 13 filings with Georgia (10,556), Alabama (8,725), Florida (7,948), and Tennessee (7,372) leading the way as the states with the largest filing activity.
Chapter 11 commercial filings, including Sub Chapter V, had a total of 309 new filings in December, a sharp increase of 56.1% over November which had 198. Of these, 70 were Sub Chapter V, down from 76 the prior month. The full year 2021 had 3,596 new Chapter 11 filings, including Sub Chapter V, down 46.6% over the full year 2020 which had 6,726 new filings.
“December individual bankruptcy filing activity continued to trend down as has been the pattern since the COVID-19 global pandemic manifested in the U.S. in March 2020. Commercial filings spiked up sharply month-over-month, but levels continue to be way off pre-COVID-19 levels,” said Chris Kruse, senior vice president of Epiq Bankruptcy Technology.
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