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Bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ended December 31, 1994, are down 5 percent, when compared to the same period in 1993, according to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. While this is the second consecutive annual decrease in bankruptcy filings, (the 12-month period ended December 31, 1993, experienced a 10 percent drop in filings from 1992), the decline is smaller than the 7 percent dip during the 12-month period ended September 30, 1994, and the 8 percent drop in bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ended June 1994. However, overall bankruptcy filings in federal courts continue to be high. They have remained well above the 800,000 mark since 1991.

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Release Date: March 22, 1995

Bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ended December 31, 1994, are down 5 percent, when compared to the same period in 1993, according to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. While this is the second consecutive annual decrease in bankruptcy filings, (the 12-month period ended December 31, 1993, experienced a 10 percent drop in filings from 1992), the decline is smaller than the 7 percent dip during the 12-month period ended September 30, 1994, and the 8 percent drop in bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ended June 1994. However, overall bankruptcy filings in federal courts continue to be high. They have remained well above the 800,000 mark since 1991.

Total bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ended December 31, 1994 were 832,829, compared to 875,202 cases filed for the same time period in 1993. The Central District of California lead the nation with the most bankruptcy filings at 82,616. The Ninth Circuit, with the greatest number of filings at 203,544, also experienced the largest decline in filings at 8 percent.

Of the total number of bankruptcy filings, 567,240 were Chapter 7 cases, or straight liquidations. Chapter 7 is designed for individuals or businesses who wish to start over but cannot pay their debts from their incomes. Under this chapter, the individual debtor is permitted to keep certain exempt property and the remaining property is sold to satisfy creditors. The next largest group of bankruptcy filings were under Chapter 13, totaling 249,877. Under Chapter 13, creditors may be repaid, in full or part, in installments, over a three- to five-year period. There were 14,773 Chapter 11 bankruptcies, a chapter that allows a business to continue to operate while devising a plan to repay creditors. Nine hundred Chapter 12 bankruptcies were filed in 1994; Chapter 12 is designed to meet the needs of financially distressed family farmers.

December 31 was the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 1995. In the first quarter, 201,618 bankruptcy cases were filed. Total business filings numbered 11,923 and total non-business filings were 189,695. Business and Nonbusiness Bankruptcy Cases Filed, By Chapter During the 3-Month Period Ended December 31, 1994

Total Filings; Chap.7, Chap.11, Chap.12, Chap.13 201,618; 135,610; 3,108; 194; 62,692

Total Business Filings; Chap.7, Chap.11, Chap.12, Chap. 13 11,923; 6,796; 2,700; 194; 2,219

Total Non-Business Filings; Chap.7, Chap.11, Chap.13 189,695; 128,814; 408; 60,473

Quarterly Bankruptcy Filings 3 Month Period Ending: Total Filings*

DEC. 31, 1994: 201,618

SEPT. 30, 1994: 208,187

JUN. 30, 1994: 216,213

MAR. 31, 1994: 206,565

DEC. 31, 1993: 206,570

SEPT. 30, 1993: 215,498

JUN. 30, 1993: 229,406

MAR. 31, 1993: 222,694

DEC. 31, 1992: 228,562

SEPT. 30, 1992: 236,810

JUN. 30, 1992: 250,622

MAR. 31, 1992: 252, 733

DEC. 31, 1991: 234,383

SEPT. 30, 1991: 231,743

JUN. 30, 1991: 246,430

MAR. 31, 1991: 231,017

DEC. 31., 1990 :209,798

SEPT. 30, 1990 :192,555

JUN. 30, 1990 :196,677

*Because of ongoing corrections to the bankruptcy database, the quarterly data may not total to the most recent annual figures.

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