Now that the first half of 2016 has come and gone, analysts at the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) have surveyed American bankruptcy trends over the last six months and have released their findings. The ABI reports that between January 1st and June 30th of this year the total number of bankruptcy filings in the United States was 6 percent less than during the same period in 2015. In 2015 there were 422,914 bankruptcy petitions filed during the first six months of the year, and this figure dropped to 398,495 during the first half of this year. However, commercial bankruptcy filings actually rose 29 percent during this same time period from 15,071 in 2015 to 19,470 in 2016.

Although the total number of bankruptcy petitions filed nationwide appears to be decreasing, the American Bankruptcy Institute unfortunately also reports that Illinois has the fourth highest per capita bankruptcy filing rate out of the 50 American states. Over the past six months, the five states with the highest per capita rates of bankruptcy filings were:

  • 1. Tennessee
  • 2. Alabama
  • 3. Georgia
  • 4. Illinois
  • 5. Utah

While states in the South are currently experiencing disproportionately higher rates of bankruptcy filings than states in other parts of the country, bankruptcy rates in a state can change quickly. For example, in 2011 California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Ohio had the highest bankruptcy rates, and just three years later in 2014 only Illinois and Georgia remained in the top five, according to an article on WorldAtlas.com. Therefore, the fact that our home state is currently experiencing a flood of bankruptcy filings does not necessary mean that a few years from now the economic situation in Illinois will still be the same, especially given the fact that bankruptcy filings across the United States are on the decline.

Forecast For Total Personal Bankruptcy Filings In 2016

Over the past few years, the number of personal bankruptcy petitions filed in the United States has been decreasing and it looks as if the trend is likely to continue. According to the BHPH Report, the Association of Credit and Credit Collection Professionals (ACA International) reports that personal bankruptcy filings declined 10.2 percent from 2014 to 2015. But what is responsible for this decline? According to ACA International the steep decline in bankruptcy filings in 2015 can be attributed to stable consumer credit and improved unemployment rates. Both of these macroeconomic conditions contributed to the decrease in bankruptcy filings. Other macroeconomic factors that tend to heavily influence bankruptcy filing rates include consumer indebtedness, interest rates, and the housing market. Given these factors, ACA International’s report concludes with the assessment that 2016 is on target to be the sixth straight year in a row with increasingly lower rates of bankruptcy filings.

Need Legal Advice?

Navigating the complicated waters of the bankruptcy system is much easier with a competent bankruptcy lawyer at your side. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in either Illinois or Indiana contact the Bentz Holguin Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation by calling (312) 881-5112 or contacting us online.