U.S. Courts: Bankruptcy Filings Increase 17 Percent in 2023; 42% Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

by Calculated Risk on 1/26/2024 12:59:00 PM

From the U.S. Courts: Bankruptcy Filings Rise 16.8 Percent

Total bankruptcy filings rose 16.8 percent, with significant increases in both business and non-business bankruptcies, in the twelve-month period ending Dec. 31, 2023. This accelerates a continuing rebound in filings after more than a decade of sharply dropping totals.

According to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, annual bankruptcy filings totaled 452,990 in the year ending December 2023, compared with 387,721 cases in the previous year.

Business filings rose 40.4 percent, from 13,481 to 18,926, in the year ending Dec. 31, 2023. Non-business bankruptcy filings rose 16 percent to 434,064, compared with 374,240 in December 2022.

Bankruptcy totals for the previous 12 months are reported four times annually.

This is the fourth straight quarter that total bankruptcy filings have risen, following a decade-plus decline. Bankruptcies fell especially sharply after the pandemic began in early 2020, despite some COVID-related disruptions to the economy.

Despite the recent increases, the newest totals remain far lower than in December 2010, when filings peaked at just less than 1.6 million.

total bankruptcy filings Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the business and non-business bankruptcy filings by calendar year since 1997.

The sharp decline in 2006 was due to the so-called “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005”.

2023 was the 3rd lowest year for bankruptcy filings, and 42% below the pre-pandemic level in 2019.

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