Are bankruptcy filings increasing or decreasing?

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Are bankruptcy filings increasing or decreasing?

This is a common question I receive. Are more people filing bankruptcy now or has it slowed down? The number of cases filed each month isn’t a secret. The courts publish the number every month and they break it down by date, chapter and location.

For my district in Western Washington here are the numbers as listed on their website:

United States Bankruptcy Court

Western District of Washington

Filing Statistics Analysis

Calendar Year 2010 vs. 2011

Chapter Seattle Tacoma Total

Chapter 7 2010 2011 % 2010 2011 % 2010 2011 %

January 764 815 6.68 551 607 10.16 1315 1422 8.14

February 982 906 (7.74) 658 561 (14.74) 1640 1467 (10.55)

March 1180 1226 3.90 931 862 (7.41) 2111 2088 (1.09)

April 1078 1175 9.00 819 711 (13.19) 1897 1886 (0.58)

May 978 1065 8.90 712 763 7.16 1690 1828 8.17

June 1031 1092 5.92 715 696 (2.66) 1746 1788 2.41

July 1084 960 (11.44) 775 661 (14.71) 1859 1621 (12.8)

August 1083 1083 0.00 698 678 (2.87) 1781 1761 (1.12)

September 1066 939 (11.91) 715 665 (6.99) 1781 1604 (9.94)

Totals 9246 9261 0.16 6574 6204 (5.63) 15820 15465 (2.24)

Chapter 13 2010 2011 % 2010 2011 % 2010 2011 %

January 223 249 11.66 162 197 21.60 385 446 15.84

February 278 285 2.52 180 212 17.78 458 497 8.52

March 268 344 28.36 190 248 30.53 458 592 29.26

April 275 252 (8.36) 184 193 4.89 459 445 (3.05)

May 285 303 6.32 193 186 (3.63) 478 489 2.30

June 297 286 (3.7) 214 193 (9.81) 511 479 (6.26)

July 338 293 (13.31) 233 165 (29.18) 571 458 (19.79)

August 311 237 (23.79) 179 187 4.47 490 424 (13.47)

September 294 260 (11.56) 225 172 (23.56) 519 432 (16.76)

Totals 2569 2509 (2.34) 1760 1753 (0.4) 4329 4262 (1.55)

As you can see the overall numbers for filings are down a small amount from 2010 to 2011 in the Seattle / Tacoma area. For the YTD in Seattle the Chapter 7 filings were 9246 in 2010 and now up just 15 more cases to 9261 2011. The filings for Tacoma and for chapter 13s were down a few percent.

The numbers can be interesting but everyone needs to do what is best for themselves. While filings seem to have slowed down a little I’ve talked to many people that are expecting a jump in filings as banks try to recoup losses from some of the foreclosures and other bad debts.

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Aaron Nielson
Law Office of Aaron Nielson

Before he began his career as a criminal defense lawyer, Aaron served as a criminal prosecutor for 5... View Profile »


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