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Bankruptcies Continue To Decline

Katie Jensen
Jan 05, 2022

Total new filings for bankruptcy were down 24.2% from 2020.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • In December, new filings were 27,957 across all chapters, down 4.7% from November 2021 which had 29,328 new filings.
  • Total new filings across all chapters for the year 2021 were 401,398, down 24.2% over 2020, which had a total of 529,222.
  • Chapter 7 individual bankruptcies in December had 16,214 new filings, down 6.8% over November 2021, which had 17,395 new filings.
  • Chapter 13 individual bankruptcies had 10,024 new filings, down 2.7% over November 2021, which had 10,306.

Epiq Bankruptcy Technology, a global technology-enabled service, released its December 2021 bankruptcy filing statistics from its Epiq Bankruptcy AACER Platform. In December, new filings were 27,957 across all chapters, down 4.7% from November 2021 which had 29,328 new filings. While 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 year 2021 were 401,398, down 24.2% over 2020, which had a total of 529,222. The 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 in December had 16,214 new filings, 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 past 6 months of month-over-month increases. 

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.  

“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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