Business Bankruptcies Fall 22% So Far in 2012, ABI Says

U.S. commercial bankruptcies fell 22 percent in the first nine months of 2012 compared with the same period a year ago, continuing a trend that began as early as January, the American Bankruptcy Institute reported.

Businesses filed 44,750 bankruptcies from January through the end of September, while 57,613 were filed in the first nine months of 2011, Alexandria, Virginia-based ABI said in a statement today. The drop is attributable in part to low interest rates, ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano said in the statement.

“We remain on pace for the lowest total bankruptcies since before the financial crisis in 2008,” Gerdano said.

Total filings fell 14 percent to 921,000, ABI said. Noncommercial filings, most of which are filed by consumers, fell 14 percent to about 876,000. Chapter 11 bankruptcies, used by companies to try to stay in business while they restructure, fell 11 percent to 5,889, ABI said.

ABI compiles statistics on consumer bankruptcies every month from data supplied by Epiq Systems Inc., which provides technology and other services to bankruptcy lawyers and bankrupt companies.

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