IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Bankruptcy filings near 1 million in 12 months

/ Source: The Associated Press

Nearly 1 million individuals and businesses filed bankruptcy in the 12 months ended June 30, according to U.S. Court data released Wednesday.

There were 967,831 bankruptcy cases filed since July 1, 2007, up 28.9 percent from the prior 12 months, when cases totaled 751,056.

Non-business filings made up 96.5 of those cases, totaling 934,009. Of those cases, which represent individuals, 592,376 were Chapter 7 filings, which involve liquidation of nonprotected assets, like family homes. The total also included 340,852 filings for Chapter 13 protection, which allows an individual to reorganize their finances and pay down their debt. An additional 780 individuals filed for Chapter 11, which is normally used for businesses but can apply to individuals who are reorganizing but have more debt than allowed under Chapter 13.

On the business side, a total of 33,822 cases were filed in the 12-month period, including 23,372 under Chapter 7, which allows for an orderly shut down of the business. There were 6,513 Chapter 11 filings, 314 Chapter 12 filings for family farm bankruptcy, and 3,569 Chapter 13 filings for small-debt reorganization.

By region, the highest number of combined filings was in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's 6th District, which encompasses Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The total came to 167,561, up 21.2 percent in the past year.

Tennessee had the highest filing rate per capita, at 6.92 filings per 1,000 people. Michigan had the highest per-capita rate of Chapter 7 filings, at 3.82 per 1,000 people.

The largest percentage increase, 60.9 percent, was in the court's 9th District, which includes California, Arizona and Nevada, which are among the states hardest hit by the housing meltdown.

Filings spiked to 276,510 in the three months ended June 30 to the highest quarterly filings since late 2006. Of those, 266,767, or 96.5 percent, were individual filings, and 9,743, or 3.5 percent, were business filings.