It is an important time for our country – a time full of promise for the future and hope for an end to the troubled economic conditions we currently endure. With a new President in office elected through a campaign centered on the promise of change, our country has voiced its concern for these conditions and our belief in the need to chart a new course toward economic prosperity.
With this hope for a new direction, it is important to monitor the current state of our economy so we can measure our success or failure as we move forward. One way this can be measured is through an analysis of the Case Filing Statistics for non-business and business related bankruptcy filings in the United States that are maintained by the Federal Judiciary’s Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts compiles statistics on bankruptcy filings for the following periods: annually, for the end of each calendar year (December 31); annually, for the end of its fiscal year (September 30); and, for each quarter ending December, March, June and September. At this time, the most recent Case Filing Statistics available are through June 30, 2008.
A review of the national Case Filing Statistics for the twelve month period ending June 30, 2008 reveals there were a total of 967,831 filings.1 Of this amount, 934,009 were non-business filings and 33,822 were filings for predominately business related debt. These numbers by themselves do not illustrate much regarding the state of the economy. However, when compared to the bankruptcy filings in recent years, the statistics evidence a growing number of businesses and consumers are failing.
For the calendar year ending December 31, 2006, there were 617,660 filings. Of this amount, 597,965 were non-business filings and 19,695 were filings for predominately business related debt. For the calendar year ending December 31, 2007, there were 850,912 filings. Of this amount, 822,590 were non-business filings and 28,322 were filings for predominately business related debts.
These Case Filing Statistics indicate since 2006 there has been a steady increase in bankruptcy filings for both business and consumer related debts. In fact, between calendar years 2006 and 2007 there was a 37.8% increase in total new bankruptcy case filings, a 38% increase in non-business filings, and a 44% increase in filings for predominately business related debt. The Case Filing Statistics for the twelve month period ending June 30, 2008 show bankruptcy filings are continuing to increase and that a greater number of businesses and consumers are unable to survive under the current economic conditions.
While these annual increases in business related bankruptcy filings are not inconsistent with the public perception of the state of the national economy, the Case Filing Statistics for 2006, 2007 and part of 2008 serve as a glaring pronouncement of the financial hardships our nation’s businesses and consumers face as we move forward. It is an important time to reflect upon the nation’s economic livelihood as we elect new officials poised to make historic decisions that will affect the viability of businesses and the lives of consumers.
1 The Case Filing Statistics monitor business and non-business filings under Chapters 7, 11, 12 and 13.
For additional information on perfection of security interests and the usage of other credit enhancements, please see the other articles in this Publications section.