Bankruptcy filings overall rose by 20 percent in the twelve-month period ending on June 30, 2010, according to information released on August 17, 2010 by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Though this filing surge was largely driven by non-business filings, business related filings also remained at elevated levels during the 12 months ended June 30.


According to the Administrative Office’s data, there were 59,608 business related bankruptcy filing in the 12 months ending on June 30 this year, compared to 55,021 in the 12 months ending on June 30, 2008, which represents an increase of 8.34%. The 59,608 for the twelve months ending on June 30, 2010 is the highest number of business-related filings for that 12 month period since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 took effect.


The number of business filings for the 12 months ended June 30, 2010, though only slightly greater than the comparable period in 2009, is also over 76% greater than the number during the comparable period in 2008, and almost 150% greater than during the comparable period in 2007.


Though the number of business-related filings remained at elevated levels during the 12 month period ended June 30, the number of business-related filings declined during each of the three month periods within that 12 month period. Thus, during the first three months of the 12-month period, there were 15,303 business related filings; in the second three months, there were 15,156 business-related filings; in the third three month period, there were 14,697; and in the final three months, there were 14,452.


As reflected in an August 17, 2010 analysis of the bankruptcy filing data by the American Bankruptcy Institute, business filings decreased 4 percent for the six-month period ending June 30, 2010, to 29,059 from the first-half 2009 total of 30,333.


Despite this quarter by quarter decrease in business-related bankruptcy filings, the overall number of filings (including non-business related filings) actually increased during the three months ending June 30, 2010, to 422,061, which is the highest for any quarter during fiscal 2010 (which runs October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010), and the highest for any April-June quarter since the 2005 third quarter filings.


Though the news about bankruptcy filings overall is discouraging, the news related to business related bankruptcy filings may be slightly encouraging as there appears to be some suggestion that the worst may be past. However, that positive note should not obscure the fact that, even if the number of filings may be declining on a quarter to quarter basis, the number of business filings still remain at elevated levels compared to periods preceding the current economic crisis.