Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Q2 Personal Bankruptcies Rise as Pace Continues to Slow

Personal Bankruptcies up as Total Q2 Filings Rise 9%
Data on the second quarter filings shows that the lack of employment opportunities has contributed to a higher number of bankruptcy filings. During the quarter, there were roughly 422,000 in total bankruptcy filings, up 9% from a quarter earlier and 11% from a year before, based on data from the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. Additionally, analysis showed that personal bankruptcy filings rose 9%, the second consecutive quarterly increase. This rise in personal filings comes as business bankruptcies have fallen for the last three quarters.

Pace of Bankruptcies Continues to Slow Despite Volume Increasing
The graph below illustrates that the rate of bankruptcy filings has slowed since 2007 and seems to be following a downward trend. The year-over-year percentage change in filings has fallen significantly to a pace of 7% through June, compared to a rate of 40% a year ago. But it is important to remember that the recent historical numbers are coming off of an extremely low level due to the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform. In addition to the pace of filings slowing, the emergence of a post-Bankruptcy Bill seasonal pattern is becoming more pronounced.

Along with the quarterly data, a heat map was included in the press release illustrating the counties with the highest bankruptcies per capita (click here).

Full analysis is available here or in the "Documents of Interest" column to the right.

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