BK Climbing in 2019

Is the trend of declining bankruptcy filings coming to an end?  There are some key indicators that suggest it.

A 2019 report from the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) indicates that consumer bankruptcy filings are on track to increase notably for the first time in years. The ABI shows that total U.S. bankruptcy filings increased 3% in July from the previous July; consumer bankruptcy filings increased at the same 3 percent rate year-to-year, with 61,025 consumer filings in July 2019, up from 59,110 in July 2018. Consumer bankruptcies also rose about 5 percent month to month from June to July 2019 (from 58,003 to 61,025).

The New York Post noted that if the trend continues, the overall total of [personal and business] bankruptcies is on pace to hit 796,000 which far exceeds last year’s totals.

Data from the ABI suggests that household debt is roughly $14 trillion, which is $1 trillion more than the 2008 Great Recession peak.  Credit card debt is $1 trillion and also exceeds the 2008 peak, which could make households more likely to turn to bankruptcy as a means of relief moving forward.

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