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Bankruptcy Filings Plunged to Lowest Number Since 1985

Personal and business bankruptcy filings plummeted 32.2 percent for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2021. The number of filings was the lowest in a 12-month period since 1985.

According to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the June 2021 annual bankruptcy filings totaled 462,309, compared with 682,363 cases in the previous year. The data reflect the first full 12-month period to begin after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crisis jolted the national economy.

Business filings fell 17.7 percent, from 22,482 to 18,511 in the year ending June 30, 2021. Non-business bankruptcy filings fell 32.7 percent, to 443,798 compared with 659,881 in the previous year.

Unemployment temporarily spiked in March 2020, when the COVID-19 emergency intensified. However, several factors may have impacted individuals’ decisions about whether to file for bankruptcy during the past year. For instance, increased government benefits and moratoriums on evictions and certain foreclosures may have eased financial pressures in many households.

Business and Non-Business Filings,
Years Ending
June 30, 2017-2021

Year Business Non-Business Total
2021 18,511 443,798 462,309
2020 22,482 659,881 682,363
2019 22,483 750,878 773,361
2018 22,245 753,333 775,578
2017 23,443 772,584 796,037
Total Bankruptcy Filings By Chapter,
Years Ending
June 30, 2017-2021

Year Chapter
  7 11 12 13
2021 335,886 6,871 438 118,864
2020 436,919 7,568 589 237,099
2019 475,069 7,193 542 290,416
2018 479,151 7,141 475 288,741
2017 489,011 6,999 482 299,398

The following bankruptcy filings statistics tables are available: 

For more on bankruptcy and its chapters, view the following resources:

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