Bankruptcy Filings Up Substantially in 2009

As a practicing family and bankruptcy attorney, I consistently run into cases where people are dealing with both a divorce (or other family law related matter), as well as a bankruptcy. This is because, many times, one is the cause of the other (this works both ways), and the cases often go hand in hand. That is probably no surprise considering the current economic climate, and if this applies to you, believe me, you are far from alone. Check out the numbers:

Bankruptcy filings in the federal courts rose 31.9 percent in calendar year 2009, according to data released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The number of bankruptcies filed in the twelve-month period ending December 31, 2009, totaled 1,473,675, up from 1,117,641 bankruptcies filed in 2008.

Filings have grown steadily since 2006, when bankruptcy filings totaled 617,660, in the first full 12-month period after the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) took effect. An historic high in the number of bankruptcy filings was seen in 2005, when over 2 million bankruptcies were filed just before BAPCPA took effect.

Filings by Chapter
In 2009, filings rose under Chapters 7, 11, 12 and 13 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.

· Chapter 7 filings totaled 1,050,832 up 41 percent from the 744,364, Chapter 7 filings reported in 2008.

· Chapter 11 filings rose 50 percent to 15,189, up from the 10,147 filings in 2008.

· Chapter 13 filings were 406,962, up 12 percent from the 362,705 filings in 2008.

· Chapter 12 filings totaled 544, up 58 percent in 2009, compared to 345 Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings in CY 2008.