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Bankruptcy Filings Back Up in 2007

April 22, 2008

Washington Bankruptcy filings in the federal courts rose 38 percent in calendar year 2007, according to data released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

The number of bankruptcies filed in the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2007, totaled 850,912, up from 617,660 bankruptcies filed in calendar year 2006. Filings rebounded from a 70 percent drop in calendar year 2006, which was the first full 12-month period after the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) took effect.

An historic high in the number of bankruptcy filings was seen in calendar year 2005, when over 2 million bankruptcies were filed. Much of that was attributed to individuals attempting to file before the BAPCPA’s new provisions were enacted in October 2005.

Business and Non-Business Filings

The majority of bankruptcy filings involved non-business debts, which increased 38 percent last year to 822,590. In 2005, non-business filings totaled more than 2 million in CY 2005.

Filings involving predominantly business debts, totaling 28,322 in CY 2007, were up 44 percent. Business filings totaled 39,201 in CY 2005.

First Quarter of FY 2008

The last three months of calendar year 2007 were the first quarter of the Judiciary's 2008 fiscal year. The number of bankruptcies filed during the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 (Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2007) was 226,413, up 27 percent from the 177,599 filings in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007.

Filings by Chapter

In CY 2007, filings rose under Chapters 7, 11, 12 and 13 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.

Chapter 7 filings totaled 519,364, up 44 percent from the 360,890 Chapter 7 filings reported in CY 2006.

Chapter 11 filings rose 23 percent to 6,353 in CY 2007 from the 5,163 filings in CY 2006.

Chapter 12 filings totaled 376, up 8 percent from the 348 Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings last calendar year.

Chapter 13 filings were 324,771, up 29 percent from 251,179 Chapter 13 filings in Calendar Year 2006.

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