The harvest is plenty, but with corn at $3/bushel, soybeans at $9/bushel, and milk at $15-$16/hundred weight, the profits are few. Did you know that in 2015 and 2016, the Western District of Wisconsin ranks 3rd (out of 94 federal judicial districts) for most Chapter 12 farm bankruptcy filings? In 2015, the Western District of Wisconsin (16 filings) was tied with the Northern District of New York (16) and behind only the Middle District of Georgia (20), the Eastern District of California (20), and the Middle District of Florida (18).
Similarly, through three quarters of 2016, the Western District of Wisconsin (17 filings) again ranks 3rd, which is tied with Kansas (17) and behind only the Middle District of Georgia (25) and Puerto Rico (21).
While it is true that overall bankruptcy filings in the Western District of Wisconsin (and throughout the county) are down fairly significantly; unfortunately, Chapter 12 cases are not following that downward trend and remain steady. We have certainly noticed an increase in Chapter 12 cases that we are handling for our secured creditor clients. We believe that trend will continue, as debtors’ counsel are indicating that more Chapter 12 cases “are on the way.”
Stay tuned for further blog postings that will identify common Chapter 12 issues and what you can do to prepare for a Chapter 12 filing by your loan customer.