Saturday, June 06, 2009

Consumer Bankruptcy Filings up Sharply

by Bill McBride on 6/06/2009 08:26:00 AM

From the American Bankruptcy Institute: Consumer Bankruptcy Filings up 37 Percent in May

U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings rose 37 percent nationwide in May from the same period a year ago, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The overall May consumer filing total of 124,838 was roughly level from the April total of 125,618. Chapter 13 filings constituted 27 percent of all consumer cases in May, slightly above the April rate.

“As consumers continue to face increasing levels of unemployment and rising foreclosure rates, bankruptcy filings will continue to accelerate as families seek financial relief from the tough economic climate,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “We predict more than 1.4 million new bankruptcies by year end.”
non-business bankruptcy filings Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the non-business bankruptcy filings by quarter.

Note: Quarterly data from Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Q1 data and Q2 estimate (based on April and May) from American Bankruptcy Institute.

The quarterly rate is close to the levels prior to when the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) took effect. There were over 2 million bankruptcies filed in Calendar 2005 ahead of the law change.

Cartoon Eric G. Lewis

Click on cartoon for larger image in new window.

Another great cartoon from Eric G. Lewis, a freelance cartoonist living in Orange County, CA.

The American Bankruptcy Institute is predicting over 1.4 million new bankruptcies by year end - I'll definitely take the over!