State by state bankruptcy statistics, 2005-2012
Filings continue to fall in 3rd quarter of 2012
By Susan Ladika
Bankruptcies slipped again in the third quarter of 2012, though experts do not expect the trend to last much longer.
The first nine months of 2012 saw about 913,000 individual bankruptcy filings in the 50 states and District of Columbia. That's down 14 percent from the same period in 2011, when 1.06 million bankruptcies were filed, according to figures from Epiq Systems, which compiles data from federal bankruptcy records.
The decline comes on the heels of a fall of 12 percent for all of 2011 compared to the previous year. For 2011, fewer than 1.37 million bankruptcy filings were recorded, compared to almost 1.55 million in 2010.
Recent history: Filings spike, plummet, rise, tail off
Bankruptcy filings topped out at about 2 million in 2005, propelled by the introduction of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. The act meant higher filing fees, a means test for eligibility, required counseling programs and an eight-year moratorium before a person can file for bankruptcy again.
Many consumers rushed to file before the law took effect, and that, coupled with the time it took attorneys to adjust to the new act, pushed filings down to 617,000 in 2006. By 2007, filings had surpassed 850,000, and they continued to rise until 2011, when the tail-off began.
See related: How bankruptcy affects your FICO score .
Updated: October 19, 2012
- Poll: You can get better credit card terms just by asking – If you want better credit card terms, the best thing to do is call your card company and ask, a new CreditCards.com survey shows ...
- Applications dip, credit market shows signs of cooling off – The market for consumer loans, including credit cards, pulled back in a February survey of consumers ...
- Online and mobile banking statistics – Bank branches aren't a thing of the past yet, but that could be the way they're headed now that consumers can deposit checks, check balances and even open accounts via computer or smartphone ...