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The Rise and Fall of Bankruptcy Statistics

Sometimes a volatile economy makes it difficult to know what to expect in terms of bankruptcy filings.  The past two years saw extremely different trends.

According to the United States Courts in 2010:

  • Bankruptcy filings grew 14 percent to 1,596,355
  • Chapter 7 filings grew by 16 percent
  • Chapter 13 filings grew by nine percent
  • Chapter 11 filings fell four percent
  • Bankruptcy appeals grew by 15 percent
  • 72 percent of all filings were Chapter 7
  • 70 percent of all business filings where Chapter 7
  • 27 percent of all filings were Chapter 13
  • Approximately one percent of all filings were Chapter 11

In contrast, Columbia Law School ( and the New York Times both reported declining bankruptcy statistics for 2011:

  • Personal bankruptcy filings dropped 12 percent
  • Filings dropped from approximately 1,500,000 in 2010 to 1,350,00 in 2011
  • One in 175 Americans filed bankruptcy in 2011 filed compared to one in 150 Americans in 2010
  • 2011 was the first bankruptcy filings decline since 2006
  • Chapter 7 filings dropped 17 percent
  • Chapter 13 filings dropped 25 percent

Of all U.S. states, Nevada still had the highest bankruptcy filing rate in 2011 and 2010 (double the national average), although Nevada filings dropped close to 20 percent in 2011.

A skilled and experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine the best approach to remedy your debt situation and whether filing bankruptcy is the right solution.

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