October 4th, 2020


September Bankruptcy Filings Increase for First Time Since 2009

According to the latest AIS Insight Report, September bankruptcies totaled to 39,699 reflecting a slight uptick from the previous month (Figure 1). This marks the first increase from August to September since 2009. However, filings were still down 35% from September 2019. A year-over-year analysis indicated that total Chapter 11 filings increased by 73%. This is by far the highest year-over-year monthly increase in 2020.

Over the past five months, we’ve been monitoring the activity of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings. September revealed that filings are still well below the monthly averages (Figure 1). When compared to total filings, we witnessed a 6% increase in Chapter 13 filings (Figure 2). Conversely, Chapter 7 bankruptcies accounted for 71% of all filings, marking a 1% decrease from August (Figure 2 & 3).

Figure 1 

Figure 2

Figure 3

September Chapter 11 bankruptcies increased by 73% as compared to September 2019 (Figure 4). Chapter 11 bankruptcies totaled to 801 in September 2020 compared to a total of 461 in September 2019 (Figure 4). In a month-over-month analysis, we observed Chapter 11 filings have increased by 36% and Chapter 11, Subchapter V filings increased by 11% (Figure 4).

Figure 4  

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The highest percentage of bankruptcies for September 2020 came from the South (East) (27%) followed by North Central (East) (20%), Pacific (15%), South (West) (13%), Northeast (12%), Mountain (7%) and North Central (West) (6%) regions of the country (Figure 7).

Figure 7

As mentioned last month, data confirms that 2020 continues to be an unusual year (Figure 8). A five-year analysis of bankruptcy filings shows a major trend deviation. We will monitor the effects of stimulus checks and forbearance and moratorium programs and provide critical insights.

Figure 8

To download the full September Insight Report, click here.