February Bankruptcy Filings Register Double-Digit Increases Across Major Filing Categories Over Last Year
Commercial Chapter 11s up 83 percent
NEW YORK - March 2, 2023 – New bankruptcy filings in February 2023 registered double-digit increases year-over-year across all U.S. major filing categories, according to data provided by Epiq Bankruptcy, the leading provider of U.S. bankruptcy filing data. Epiq Bankruptcy is a division of Epiq, a global technology-enabled services leader to the legal services industry and corporations.
The 31,889 total new bankruptcy filings in February were up 18 percent from the 27,006 filings registered in February 2022. Total commercial filings increased 18 percent to 1,696 versus 1,442. Commercial Chapter 11 filings increased 83 percent to 373 filings, up from 204. Subchapter V small business filings increased 45 percent to 120 versus the 83 filings registered the previous year.
Continuing year-over-year, total individual filings increased 18 percent to 30,193 versus 25,564 in February 2022. While still below pre-pandemic levels, individual Chapter 7 filings increased 12 percent to 16,991 versus 15,190, and individual Chapter 13 filings increased 28 percent to 13,149 versus 10,311 the previous year.
Comparing month-over-month, and considering there are three fewer days in February, the 31,889 total filings were still two percent higher than the 31,161 in January. Total commercial filings decreased one percent to 1,696 from 1,713 the month prior. Total Chapter 11 filings remained flat 373 versus 376 and Subchapter V increased five percent to 120 from 114. Total individual filings increased three percent to 30,193 from 29,448 while individual Chapter 7 filings increased eight percent to 16,991 from 15,717 and the individual Chapter 13 filings decreased four percent to 13,149 from the 13,678 filed in January.
“The growing number of households and businesses filing for bankruptcy reflects the mounting economic challenges they now face,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “Debt loads are expanding as the prices of goods and services have gone up with inflation and the cost of borrowing continues to rise. While pandemic relief efforts have largely expired, the safe haven of bankruptcy is continually available for financially distressed businesses and consumers.”
Comparing open to closed cases, while new filings are on the rise, the current 662,204 total open cases represent another month-over-month decline. There are 36 percent fewer open cases since May 2019 when there were more than one million. Looking back one year, there are 52,662 fewer open cases than the 714,866 in February 2022, a seven percent decline.
“Overall, the stimuluses have had a positive effect for individuals and companies, as 10,843 more cases have closed than opened in 2023,” said Gregg Morin, Vice President of Business Development and Revenue for Epiq Bankruptcy. “However, as new monthly filings rise, this trend is likely to end.”
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. Learn more at https://bankruptcy.epiqglobal.com.
Epiq, a global technology-enabled services leader to the legal services industry and corporations that takes on large-scale, increasingly complex tasks for corporate counsel, law firms, and business professionals with efficiency, clarity, and confidence. Clients rely on Epiq to streamline the administration of business operations, class action and mass tort, court reporting, eDiscovery, regulatory, compliance, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. Epiq subject-matter experts and technologies create efficiency through expertise and deliver confidence to high-performing clients around the world. Learn more at https://www.epiqglobal.com.
ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 10,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abi.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.
Epiq, Director of Communications