The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) recently shared data collected by Epiq Systems, Inc. regarding recent bankruptcy filings in the United States with a big increase in filings during February from January 2012 alone. Data collected showed a 19 percent increase in bankruptcy filings during the month of February, which totaled 104,418; up from January filings which totaled 87,981. The number of bankruptcies filed daily in February also rose by 27 percent with close to 3,600 filings; up from 2,838 in January.
Increases in bankruptcy filings this year include commercial filings in Chapter 11 and Chapter 15. Chapter 11 saw a slight increase with 750 filings in February 2012. Chapter 15 saw a big increase from 23 filings in January to 40 in February. Almost 100,000 bankruptcy filings in February were noncommercial and represented a 20 percent increase from the January 2012 noncommercial filings that totaled just over 83,000. The data was compared to filings completed this time a year ago which showed a slight decrease in filings .
Even though data has shown a small decrease in filings from the past year, the Executive Director of ABI, Samuel J. Gerdano, states that many consumers and businesses are still struggling in dealing with overwhelming amounts of debt. Aside from dealing with high amounts of debt, consumers and businesses continue to deal with financial stress from a struggling housing sector and continued high unemployment rates. Many see bankruptcy as the only way to gain financial relief.