If you are one of the millions of Americans struggling with overwhelming debt, you may have considered your options for relief. If one of those options was filing for bankruptcy, then you may have contributed to the slight increase in consumer bankruptcy filings that occurred in May of 2017.
Data obtained by Epiq Systems, Inc., from the American Bankruptcy Institute show that the total number of consumer bankruptcy filings in May 2017 rose 5 percent to 66,096 compared to the 62,726 filings that occurred in May 2016. The number of bankruptcy filings of all types also rose 5 percent from 66,138 in May of 2016 to 69,668 in May 2017. However, the total number of Chapter 11 commercial filings actually declined 8 percent during the same period. In May 2016, 613 commercial bankruptcies were filed, but that number dropped to 563 in May 2017.
Along with the uptick in bankruptcy filings from May 2016 to May 2017, the American Bankruptcy Institute also noted that there was a slight increase in bankruptcy filings from April 2017 to May 2017. The total number of bankruptcy filings for the month-long span increased 3 percent from the 67,723 bankruptcies filed in April 2016. Furthermore, while the overall rate of commercial bankruptcy filings was down over the course of the year, the total number of commercial bankruptcy filings actually increased 7 percent from the period between April and May of 2017.
Nationwide, the average per capita bankruptcy filing rate in May 2017 was 2.57, which is a slight increase from the 2.54 rate recorded during the first four months of the year. Georgia was listed third among states with the highest per capita filing rate, following Alabama and Tennessee, which were rated one and two, respectively.
While many consider bankruptcy an option of last resort, the truth is that the process can actually help consumers in the long run who face an insurmountable debt load. In order to determine whether bankruptcy is right for you, you should consult with an experience bankruptcy attorney, who can explain all of the options you have available and represent you throughout the process.