ALEXANDRIA, Va. — U.S. bankruptcies filed in the third quarter 2009 totaled 388,485, a 33 percent increase over the 292,291 cases filed in the year-ago period, according to data from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
Total filings for the first nine months of 2009 were up 35 percent to 1.1 million compared to the 814,496 filings during the year-ago period. Bankruptcies are at the highest level since the 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code.
“The spike in bankruptcy filings for both consumers and businesses reflects the continuing effects of today’s weak economy,” said American Bankruptcy Institute Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “With unemployment surpassing 10 percent and credit to businesses remaining tight, consumers and businesses are increasingly turning to the financial relief of bankruptcy.”
Consumer filings totaled 373,308 during the third quarter 2009, representing a 33 percent increase over the 280,787 filed during the year-ago period. Consumer chapter 7 filings totaled 265,721, an increase of 42 percent over the year-ago total of 187,227. Chapter 13 consumer filings also increased to 107,142 filings, representing a 15 percent increase over the 93,333 filings during the same period in 2008.
Nevada was the state with the highest per capita filing rate in the country, with 10.49 residents per thousand filing in all chapters, and also had the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 7 filings at 7.53. The state with the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 13 bankruptcy was Tennessee at 4.36 per thousand for the 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2009.
Nonbusiness filings for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2009, totaled 1,344,095, an increase of 34 percent from the 1,004,342 total nonbusiness filings calculated over the same period in 2008. Business filings for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2009, totaled 58,721, up 52 percent from the 38,651 bankruptcy petitions filed in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2008.