Economy Watch: Bankruptcy Rates Lowest in Years

February 9, 2017

Economy Watch: Bankruptcy Rates Lowest in Years

February 7, 2017 | by Dees Stribling | Commercial Property Executive

The number of bankruptcy filings during 2016 was the lowest for any calendar year since 2006—another indicator that the economy has mostly recovered since the recession.

During the 12-month period ending in December, there were 794,960 cases filed in federal bankruptcy courts, down from the 844,495 bankruptcy cases filed in calendar-year 2015. That’s a 5.9 percent drop in filings, according to U.S. Courts, a site published by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on behalf of the Federal Judiciary.

That happens to be the lowest number of bankruptcy filings for any calendar year since 2006, and the sixth consecutive calendar year that filings have fallen. In fact, it’s actually the lowest level of filings since the mid-1990s, if 2006 is excluded, since the low level recorded that year was an outlier caused by changes to bankruptcy law in 2005 that tightened the screws on those filing for bankruptcy and thus discouraged it for a time. 

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September 30, 2019

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